Capture

I was compelled to write a post about this new series purely because of how much of a guilty pleasure it became for me. A friend posted a clip of it online and urged people to give it a try and after watching the clip, I was hooked and sped through all the episodes that had already aired in the US. This past week the show ended and I wait with bated breath to see if it may get a second season. Oh, did I mention this show is a reality game show?

Capture’s concept is a little like Hunger Games except of course no one dies in it; there are 12 teams of 2, and each week one team is selected to be the ‘hunt team’ while the rest of them are left to be the prey. They are released into a large area called the hunting ground, and the hunt team basically has to catch two teams. The hunt is spread across a two day period, and if the hunt team do not catch two teams before the time runs out then they are in danger of getting eliminated themselves. The teams are forced to live outside, in cold conditions and with basic rations.

Each week the show throws in twists and turns, offers tasty treats and presents the chance for teams to sabotage each other in the hope that they will be eliminated. I say this show was like my guilty pleasure just because that’s exactly what it is – reality game show at its best. Contestants are quite the characters, and several teams I became to love particularly a team of British twins and two gay neighbours. Others became your typical bad guys such as two college buddies which resulted in a witch hunt to see who could get them out first.

The series unfortunately has suffered in the ratings in the US, so I’m not sure if this show will ever be seen again. However, please go give it a try – it’s been my guilty pleasure of the summer and now that all 10 episodes have aired, it can be yours too. Here is the trailer for the show to give you a taste of it.

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The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman returns to the role that made him a household name in this second standalone Wolverine movie. Set after the events of The Last Stand, Logan is still dealing with the emotional aftermath carrying the baggage and guilt of Jean’s death, living in solitude in the mountains. Until a Japanese woman seeks him out and brings him to Japan to help a dying man’s wish.

At the very start of the film Logan gets in a fight at a bar after he finds a bear injured after a group of men hunt it in the woods. It’s great to see Logan get so angry over the bear, seeking justice even for such small a thing – it allows him to have a connection to something, despite him seeking solitude. It’s also brilliant to see cameos throughout the movie from Famke Janesson, reprising her role as Jean Grey in Logan’s hallucinations. The film gave a sense of closure to fans that felt short-changed at the change of direction The Last Stand took us in and I felt the new director James Mangold did a great job with everything.

Hugh Jackman is still the perfect Wolverine and he proves it again with brilliant action sequences, raw emotion and that same sarky manner we’ve come to know and love. It’s been 10 years since the first X-Men movie and he is still physically fit and toned. And a moment in the film where he’s naked in a bath tub – a highlight for many I’m sure.

The film suffers a little because of the storyline that they’ve come up with; the idea that it boils down to a family business rivalry and argument about money that’s gone wrong is a bizarre concept for a comic book movie, and viewers have come to expect bigger, with much more at stake. That’s not to say the film doesn’t have its plus points. As I’ve said the action sequences are great, particularly the bullet train fight and the sequence at the house towards the end. The film is a little typical, and you can certainly see some angles coming from a mile off but the action sequences, Hugh Jackman and a much more Wolverine focused film, it’s a good solid feature.

Soon after the film opened, word spread of an end credits scene that may or may not be a teaser for the hotly anticipated Days of Future Past. Filming has officially wrapped and original director of the first two X-Men films Bryan Singer is returning to the helm. The film will combine the original cast from the first three films, and incorporate the newer cast and seeing them all take the stage at this year’s Comic Con panel was slightly epic. From Singer’s tweeting to the emotive words the cast and crew gave, you can feel the passion coming from this project. The end credits managed to fit in Trask industries, the return of Magneto and Charles Xavier back from the dead and I bet James Mangold was happy to hand it back to Singer and say ‘you explain everything’.

Overall, The Wolverine is a solid movie, filled with some nice moments and ties up a few loose ends, but nicely teases fans for next year’s movie.

Mariko: This is the hotel owner’s grandson. He’s the one who fixed you up…

(Boy draws back fearfully)

And you may have cut him a few times. (The Wolverine)

US TV Pilots 2013-2014 Season

US TV Pilots of 2013-2014

The end of spring and the start of summer is a familiar time for many in US television shows – it’s predominately the period where US TV shows air their finales before they go on hiatus over the summer, and it’s the time for pick-ups, cancellations and for new TV pilots to be commissioned. This year was no different, and as I waited patiently for my favourite shows to hopefully get another season (all 5 that I religiously watch got picked up again), I also was intrigued to see what new pilots the major TV networks had in store for us come September. Here are just a few that I’m excited to try:

 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Joss Whedon helps bring Marvel to the small screen in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which also sees Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), come back from the dead. It’s still shrouded in secrecy why and how he is still alive, but the preview already looks great, and it unites two of my favourite things – the Marvel universe and Joss Whedon’s wit and banter.

The Blacklist

This new crime thriller starring James Spader looks brilliant, psychologically intense and with a hint of Criminal Minds and The Mentalist, it looks like it could be a hit

The 100 – midseason

This isn’t appearing until midseason but the trailers are already out for this sci-fi drama and again it looks strong. The CW is perhaps a strange network for this futuristic drama to be put on, but the cast look relatively young and cute so hopefully the network will be good for this show.

Intelligence -midseason

Josh Holloway, best known as Sawyer on Lost is back on out TV screens. I’d say that was a definite reason to watch. Add the involvement of Marg Helgenberger (best known for CSI) and a great storyline and again you’re onto a winner. Sadly this won’t appear til midseason again.

Almost Human

The new J.J. Abram’s TV show starring Karl Urban, it’s based around a future where artificial intelligence helps law enforcement. This starts in November, but has come across some problems recently when its show runner left the project for creative differences. I still have hopes for this though – Karl Urban turns anything into gold.

Dracula

Jonathan Rhys Myers is the latest incarnate of Dracula in this new adaptation of the most famous vampire in this NBC drama. It looks sleek, stylish and has a great cast including Katie McGrath (Merlin).

The Crazy Ones

Robin Williams is finally brought to TV in this new comedy and he’s brought Sarah Michelle Gellar with him! After Gellar’s last show was cancelled after the first season, I’m hoping this goes better for her (I did really like Ringer). It looks alright, I’ll watch purely for Gellar, and hope it’s great.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

The spin-off from Once Upon a Time, this brings us into the world of Wonderland with a bunch of other fairytale characters, and ABC will be hoping that this can generate the same fanbase as the original.

Reign

(trailer starts at about 0.45)

Period drama for the CW which reminds me of Gossip Girl but historical style. It looks okay, I’ll certainly give it a go but it’s not high on my list.

Lucky 7

ABC comedy as a group of people who are in a lottery sweepstake together suddenly win and their lives change forever.

The Tomorrow People

The CW are re-launching this old sci-fi show and it looks really good; the extended trailer is really intriguing and asks questions but answers a lot of them. This is probably one of my top picks – I just really hope it lives up.

Believe –midseason

The child actor for this series looks like a great young talent, and it’s another sci-fi drama for the books. Again this doesn’t start until around midseason so I’ll be looking out for it to start.

Back in the Game

Another ABC comedy, a single mother who moves with her child becomes a coach of a lesser little league team so that all the kids can have a go at playing baseball. It looks funny, the trailer certainly made me chuckle.

Crisis = midseason

Gillian Anderson stars in this tense midseason thriller; a group of young students who all appear to come from important families are kidnapped as families become embroiled in blackmail outside as law enforcement try to figure out who is behind it.

Betrayal

A new drama about a woman who cheats on her husband, which seems to be the least of her worries as she finds out the man she’s been having an affair with will soon be facing off with her husband in a court room. It looks quite good, I’m intrigued by it already.

Welcome to the Family

Fox’s new comedy about two families that are brought together when their children start dating and the young couple become pregnant. Starring Mike O’Malley (Kurt’s dad in Glee) this looks like a funny comedy.

Hostages

CBS drama which sees a family been taking hostage as the baddies attempt to convince a woman who’s operating on the President to kill him, botching the operation in order to save her family. It stars Toni Collette as the surgeon and I’m interested to see how the show will progress.

 

 

Most start within the next week, and I’m going to be a busy bunny, but I’m determined to give these shows at least a go, and hopefully I’ll pick up a few other TV shows to watch.

 

Agent Ward: I’m clearance level 6. I know that Agent Coulson was killed in action, before the battle of New York

Agent Coulson: (walks out) Welcome to Level 7

The Mentalist Season 5 – A Game Changer

The Mentalist 5.06 'Cherry Picked'

The Mentalist left its fans at the end of season 4 with Patrick Jane disheartened at being the closest yet at discovering the identity of Red John, the man that murdered his wife and child. With Red John’s accomplice Lorelei in custody, it seemed that it was only a matter of time before Jane would get what he wants.

The show has had the Red John storyline angle from the start and it’s made a fantastic arc for the series, played out fantastically by the enigmatic and gorgeous Simon Baker who plays Jane. Season 5 was a really strong season as well; the Red John storyline developed in leaps and bounds, and the show also incorporated other smaller storyline arcs and standalone episode making it a really strong season. The show suffered a small bump along the way as it emerged that Amanda Righetti (Grace Van Pelt) was pregnant; the first half of the season, Van Pelt was mostly chained to her desk, allowing the actress to remain on the show but to hide her baby bump well, offering helpful information about the week’s case to the team. She was then written out for a few episodes and returned with a more active role in the rest of the season. The show handled it well, and this season also saw the show celebrate its 100th episode. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite episodes from the season.

Devil’s Cherry – This was the 2nd episode of the season and proved to be a beautiful episode – after taking some tea that wasn’t very kosher, Jane begins hallucinating about his dead daughter; the young actress playing Jane’s daughter is great and the episode is crushing, especially because you can see how great a father Patrick would have been.

Red Sails in the Sunset –We’re back to the Red John storyline, and Jane comes up with an elaborate scheme to get Lorelei out of prison, and whist they are together, the team discover that Lorelei had a sister who died mysteriously and as it turns out, it was Red John that murdered her. She takes off, but not before a parting shot at Patrick, which turns into his big break – “I only wonder why the two of you didn’t become life-long friends the moment you shook hands.” It makes him realise that Red John is closer than he thinks.

Days of Wine and Roses – Two aspects to this episode – the case of the week is a murder at a rehab clinic and a theft of a ruby necklace to offer motivation for her murder. The Tommy Volker case that has been building for the past few episodes also escalates in this episode, leading to Lisbon reluctantly asking for Jane’s help. The following episode Little Red Corvette is the conclusion to a great storyline arc.

There Will Be Blood – Lorelei re-emerges looking for revenge and answers from the people that killed her sister. Jane continues to let Lorelei go in the hope that once she finds out the truth, she will reveal Red John’s identity. Lisbon gives Jane an ultimatum in the hope of getting him to relent on his mission. In the end Lorelei refuses to give Jane the information, and he is blocked from getting any information. It’s another case of so close, yet so far, but certainly builds up the storyline even more. But at the end of the episode we lose Lorelei as she is found murdered by Red John, a sad loss as she was an enigmatic character, and at the actress was a great addition.

Red Velvet Cupcakes – CBI enlist the help of a radio therapist to help solve their latest murder, and once they begin to suspect him of the murders, they send Van Pelt and Rigsby to couple therapy. This episode is the first in an epic trilogy of episodes to end the season and along with a solid storyline, there is also the moment that fans have been waiting 3 years for – Van Pelt and Rigsby getting back together.

Red and Itchy – A mystery that began a couple seasons ago that has remained visible through small mentions, fans finally learnt more about the contents of LaRoche’s Tupperware box. It’s a great storyline, and reveals the identity of the mole inside CBI. And the contents of the box are gruesome and hair-raising.

Red John’s Rules – In the season finale, Red John resurfaces and puts Jane on edge as someone from his past is murdered. Through the episode he also teases Lisbon (and consequently the audience) with his list of 7 suspects for Red John, which is dramatically revealed at the end of the episode in quite possibly the best 5 minutes of The Mentalist.

This season’s finale was good, but the last 5 minutes said it all really – we got a glimpse of what happened to Lorelei, as well as the reveal of Jane’s 7 Red John suspects – some we saw coming and some that were leftfield. Those last words of Red John and his warning gives me goosebumps each time –it’s the perfect cliff-hanger. What’s for certain however is that one of these men is in fact Red John. The red herrings have ended and the fact that Season 6 has the tag line of Red John: The Final Chapter tells fans that the 6 year-long mystery of who killed Patrick Jane’s family will come to a close this season. The 7 suspects are:

  1. Brett Partridge
  2. Bret Stiles
  3. Gale Bertram
  4. Ray Haffner
  5. Reede Smith
  6. Robert Kirkland
  7. Sheriff Thomas McAllister

Season 6 starts on September 29th on CBS in America, and will air soon after on Channel 5 in the UK. After watching the series from the start, I’m so invested in this program that I can’t wait for the reveal and conclusion of the Red John storyline

 

Lorelei (reading Red John’s words) But fair’s fair Patrick – you’ve changed the game so there’s new rules now. Eileen Turner is the first of many; I’m going to star killing again – often. Until you catch me….or I catch you. (Red John’s Rules)

Don’t Tell Mummy

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Toni Maguire tells the heartbreaking story of her past, and the whole time I am reading I have to keep telling myself that this.is.true. The book is so well written that it is so easy to forget that the events you are reading actually happened to her, constantly I had to keep saying to myself ‘this really happened, it really, really happened’. Following her through childhood, living with little money, an abusive father and a mother who won’t come to her rescue, Maguire’s past slowly unravels.

I would definitely recommend this book, it’s an insight into the terrifying horrors abused children are subjected to, and how it affects the rest of the family’s relationships. When I first read this I didn’t know there was a sequel and so I was very disappointed when I didn’t find out how she finally managed to escape her father – and I still don’t know. But now I am aware, I am desperate to find out so I shall report back at some point.

For the time being though, go and read this book, cry for Toni, and enjoy her finally found happiness.