Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PLL - 1.21 Breaking The Code

Pretty Little Liars - Definitely spoilers ahead.
Pretty Little Liars - Aria and Spencer pay for information.

Yay! I'm so excited that Paige is back! I can't say the same for Melissa though. Anyway, now that the girls have the $2,000 to pay that guy for info, they meet him and get an address, which they plan on investigating later.
Pretty Little Liars - "A" threatens Mona to expose Hanna's mom's secret.

Sheesh,  how much free time does "A" have to go after all these people? First Byron, now Mona? But luckily, Mona's Hanna's best friend and their friendship prevails over "A's" threats to either destroy Hanna's mom's reputation or to expose Mona's shoplifting. But "A's" not done yet, he/she definitely has more tricks up his/her sleeve.
Pretty Little Liars - Paige asks Emily to help ask for money from local businesses for the swim team.
Emily -
So Paige reveals that she came out to her parents all thanks to Emily's great experience. They even become closer as friends when Emily helps her sell ads for the swim team program. Sounds great, but whats with Maya? Emily's going crazy because she isn't returning any of her calls, and even thinks she sees her at a restaurant. When it turns out it isn't her, she starts getting emotional and walks out crying, bumping into Paige. 
Pretty Little Liars - Emily rejects Paige's attempt to kiss her.
After comforting Emily, she leans in for a kiss, only to get pushed away by Emily. Of course, both girls acted out of impulse, as Paige still likes Emily despite Emily's obvious feelings about Maya. At the end of the episode, a police officer shows up at her door and apparently, something happened to Maya! I'm guessing it's something drug related, either she overdosed (which would be so sad!) or she just got caught with them. Otherwise, it may be that she stuck with her plan and took off for San Francisco.
Pretty Little Liars - Aria's crying face after she and Ezra "broke up".
Aria -
Oh no, Ezria fans just about died this week because they broke up! Want proof? Look at her face! Later: Holy crap, Ella's at the door of Ezra's apartment. Apparently she's coming around, since she disagrees with Byron's approach to the situation and just wants to understand. How nice.  
Pretty Little Liars - Spencer and Melissa talk about their parents and Jason DiLaurentis.
Spencer -
Melissa takes the fact that Jason is her brother pretty well. But, there's a secret about her. Why was she at Alison's house the night of her murder, as another portion of the decrypted video revealed. At least Spencer defended her sister when Hanna so eagerly suggested to turn in the pregnant Melissa.
Pretty Little Liars - Spencer talks with Wren at a bar.
Meanwhile, Spencer's drunk! If I'm not mistaken, this is the third time we have seen a drunken character on Pretty Little Liars. Upset that Melissa ditched her to go off somewhere with the increasingly creepy Garrett, she drinks shot after shot at the bar and goes home with Wren, who just happened to show up. At his house, she hits on him, but being the nice guy, he doesn't take advantage of her and lets her sleep on his couch until the next morning, when she awakes to find out she is late for school.
Pretty Little Liars - An old man screams through the window at Aria and the others.
The girls (minus Spencer) go visit that address that they got, only to discover that they may have gotten scammed. My ear drums shattered when my sister screamed as the old man came out of his house. I'll admit, it was creepy and sudden, but was it ear-piercing scream worthy? That's a little over the top don't you think? But, they find out later that the piece of mail they managed to grab did have a connection to their mystery. Apparently, Melissa worked at a specific law firm as an intern, the company that closed down years ago yet has it's mail being sent to that address. 

In the end, we see "A" shooting a target as if to practice actually killing somebody.

It's 6 hours 'till bedtime; I say watch, don't wait. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PLL 2.20 - CTRL:A

Pretty Little Liars - 
Pretty Little Liars - Maya holding up an Emily swimming poster.
Pretty Little Liars recap below!!

Pretty Little Liars - Guy that Vivian owes money to.
Spencer -
The girls are one step closer to finding out what Alison knew about "A" when they meet with he guy who knew "Vivian". To get the information out of him however, they need to pay him back a debt that "Vivian" owed him, $2,000. Luckily for Spencer, Jason told her that Ali had tons of money stashed away from some secret blackmailing operation that they could possibly use if Jason cooperates. Meanwhile, her relationship with her father and with Jason develop when she decides to trust her father's word.
Pretty Little Liars - Security camera picture of Hanna, Spencer, and Emily dressed as nurses in front of the morgue.
Hanna -
Hanna got called into the station because of a photo taken by the security camera of the girls in the hospital dressed up as nurses. Wilden thinks they stole the missing page of the autopsy report, but you've got to admit, they are looking guiltier by the second. The last time we saw Caleb, he was sleeping and "A" stole his laptop. Now we know that "A" took it to plant incriminating files into his hard drive so that he would be arrested and gotten "rid of". In a very pivotal scene in the show, he unlocks his computer for the police, activating it so that Hanna can erase the "A" planted file before the police read it. Get it? It's just so frustrating when Hanna can't remember the last four numbers of his password, 1105, and when she waits so long to delete the files, the police have already clicked on it. Fortunately, the evidence gets erased before they have a chance to examine it, and Caleb is off the hook. BTW, the title of the episode refers to this scene, and Spencer keeps telling Hanna to delete the files quickly by pressing CTRL:A. Funny and exciting stuff.
Pretty Little Liars - Emily catches Maya lighting up a joint.
So everything seems to be going well for Emily since she's back on the swim team, but Maya brings up that her mom found an old joint in her room and she's going to be sent back to True North. Later, at the team party at Hanna's house, we can tell that Maya is still upset even after Emily comforted her, and we see her fall off the wagon when Emily catches her in the process of  lighting up the joint. And I remember thinking, "what the hell is wrong with you Maya, Emily's so good to you!! Maya just wants to run away and doesn't want to listen to Emily's reason.
Pretty Little Liars - Holden fighting in a Martial Arts tournament.
Aria's night goes a little crazy, since "A" tried to get Byron to catch Aria in the act of seeing Ezra, and the fact that Aria learned that Holden has a heart condition. Anyway, she ditches her date to check on Holden at his martial arts fight, which by the way, is his secret. I'm sure we were all thinking the same thing when Holden was getting punched and kicked in the fight, and it was "He's gonna die". You can even see it on Aria's face. But thanks to the writers who thought it was a good idea to have us worry about something like this when there a bigger things to worry about, like the fact that we are trying to find out who "A" is. Luckily for Aria, her concern for Holden failed "A"'s plan to get Bryon to catch Aria and Ezra together. Looks like "A" actually failed twice in this episode! Amazing right? But don't worry, "A"'s going to get his/her revenge.

At the end of the episode, Emily leaves a sympathetic message on Maya's phone just before we see "A"'s perspective looking into Emily's window like a stalker.

It's 7 hours 'till bedtime; I say watch, don't wait.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chronicle (2012) Review

"Chronicle" movie poster
I had an itching to watch a movie ever since I got new glasses after losing my old pair, and luckily, this week, there was a movie that I had the opportunity to see. To quote Wikipedia*, "Chronicle is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Josh Trank and  written by Max Landis based  on a story by both Trank and Landis. It stars Dane DeHaanMichael B. Jordan, and Alex Russell as a group of Seattle friends who gain powerful superhuman abilities and use them for mischief and personal gain until one of them begins to use his powers for darker purposes." SPOILERS BELOW!
Alex Russell as Matt Garretty, Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery and Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer in ``Chronicle.''
Let me first talk about the pros of the movie. First of all, the story line is great. The increase of Andrew's (Dehaan) spiral out of control is expertly show starting with the driver hospitalization incident and then escalating to killing Steve and multiple others. It is ingenious the way the camera style lets us see into Andrew's background, as well as letting us predict his demise and have sympathy as well as pity for him at the same time. The movie is also contains smart and fresh editing. The switch between his camera and security cameras are cool if not genius, and the scene by scene cutoffs gives you what you need to know, in a concise manner. These cool effects alone make this movie a winner, as well as the mind blowing special effects of the bomb and the spear. The ending is no exception either; it's interesting, very resolving, but it also has a little of that mysterious quality that leaves us wanting more.
 Dane Dehaan as Andrew Detmer abusing his telekinetic powers in "Chronicle".
Now, for the cons. The camera movements in the beginning made me dizzy. Also, maybe it's just me, but certain explainable things are a little mind boggling. For example, sometimes there are unexplained cameras. Like, why can we as the audience see what is going on when there is no cameras around the characters. If you are going to stick with this specific camera style, the be consistent. I don't want to miss half the movie looking for a camera that isn't there.
Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer crushing a car with his telekinetic powers in "Chronicle".
Here's a little side note that I can't make sense of. Is it a good or bad thing, I don't know, but here it is. In the main intense scene, the camera switches from an unidentified camera to a police car camera to remind audience of the camera style.
Alex Russell as Matt Garretty stopping the police in "Chronicle''.
And, that's basically it. As you can see, there are more pros then cons and that is why I can confidently recommend that you watch this movie. That certainly explains the 85% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and my personal rating of A-.

It's 7 hours 'till bedtime; I say watch, don't wait.

*Links to actor's Wikipedia pages redirected to IMDB.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

PLL 2.19 The Naked Truth

Pretty Little Liars - (2/7/2012)

So for context purposes: to punish Hanna for sending the picture of naked Kate to the entire school, they both have to participate in "Truth Up", an overnight activity at the school. Obviously, the rest of the girls follow suit and join in too.
Pretty Little Liars - Pills from Holden's bag.
She and Holden are stuck in their arrangement. Ever since seeing the bruise on his torso, Aria ha been worrying over excessively. To make matter worse, Aria sees a bag of pills fall out of his bag, which then leads her to assume that he is somehow involved in drugs. We actually don't know for sure though, because he never accepted nor denied her theory.
Pretty Little Liars - Jason as a "Truth Up" volunteer
Jason's back, and so are Spencer's  parents, who volunteer at the "Truth Up!" lock down thing. Unfortunately, Spencer's father keep avoiding Jason, which just makes Spencer even more determined to find out their secret. As it turns out, Jason is Spencer's half brother. Fans of the book series like me could already see that coming a mile away.
Pretty Little Liars - Mona threatening the principal.

Ever since her rejection from swimming, she has been holding in feeling of anger that we haven't seen before. But during one of the activities at the lock down, she spoke out and practically blamed the principal for treating her unfairly and making her feel unsafe. In return, he practically threatened her to keep her mouth shut. With the help of Mona however, they broke into his office and searched for evidence of his crimes, favoring boys over girls athletics. Of course, I'm not trying to make it sound like Emily wanted to blackmail the principal, but peer pressure can do a lot of things.
Pretty Little Liars - Aria and Emily recording Kate's conversation.
Hanna- Her relationship with Caleb has gotten better since their lies to each other, but now "A" is trying to rip them apart (as predicted in the final "A" scene). Also, I though Hanna was going to spill about "A" to her mother when they had that emotional conversation about Hanna's stance on the picture incident, whether she actually did it, or if she was framed. But, one of my favorite scenes was when Hanna discovered that Kate was lying, that she was the one who sent her own picture, and got her to confess. Here it is. Hanna: "Y'know, maybe it's time I really take a picture of you Kate." Looks over at the bathroom stalls "Aria, can I borrow your phone?" Aria and Emily step out nonchalantly holding their phones. "Yea, in a minute, I'm using it though," Looks at Kate. "to record this conversation." (Eh, you'll just have to watch it to appreciate it's genius)
Pretty Little Liars - Noel and Jenna snuggling on a bench.
When did Noel get so creepy? It's just like the time they made Lucas suspicious to us, just to stir up the pot. But, it's not just him, he and Jenna and supposedly "together" in more ways than one. (And by that, I mean, they have a creepy secret.) Why do they have to make everything so overly dramatic? Sometimes, it's frustrating, but in a "I want to watch more" way.
Pretty Little Liars - The Liars staring at Alison's red raincoat.
As for the claim ticket they got in the previous episode, Spencer went and picked up a red raincoat, with a phone number in the pocket. It seemed like a dead end until the end of the episode, when a guy called repeatedly and the girls set up a meeting with him to discuss Ali's alter ego, "Vivian".

It's 7 hours 'till bedtime; I say watch, don't wait.