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Quick Thoughts on Agent Carter S2 Episodes 1 & 2

As you may have noticed people, I haven’t gotten back into the reviewing groove for TV shows as I’m still trying to sort out the timing for when I can put them out on a weekly basis. However, with the return of Agent Carter last week, I couldn’t leave my blog without giving you lot my thoughts (regardless of whether you want them or not haha). So what follows are my quick thoughts on the first two episodes “The Lady in the Lake” and “A View in the Dark“. Mild spoilers follow.

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Well, I am happy to report that season 2 of Agent Carter is back in full effect and so far I’m really enjoying it. I liked the first season of this show but I found it a little slow and uninteresting during the mid-point, however, since we’ve already spent time establishing the world, main characters and plot details last time, it allowed this season to hit the ground running taking the foundations of what’s come before and build on it, while presenting new and interesting situations. The new mysteries/stories surrounding the frozen lady, Sousa and Peggy’s relationship status, Calvin Chadwick and his business with the Zero Matter and the secret council, and Calvin’s deceptive wife Whitney Frost all has different levels of intrigue, excitement and potential for the future. I’m especially liking Frost with her being the brains of the operation between her and Chadwick, and that Zero Matter, man, it reminded me a little of Gravitonium, but then I also thought of the Kree monoliths as well. I just want to know what it is and what it does.

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One of the things I liked about Agent Carter before was the relationships between characters, whether they were friends, potential love interests or enemies, and that applies here as well. There’s a lot of fun or dramatic moments with Peggy in these first few episodes whether it between her and Jarvis, Thompson or Sousa and it is interesting to see how these moments play out considering where these characters were in season 1 and where they are now. I also like the sense of progression from season 1, where times have changed, we’ve moved past the post-war era and are entering a world that’s a little more fun, exciting and unexpected as well. The change of scenery has allowed for a great new colour palette, different types of locations (like movie sets and jazz clubs) and gives the show a sense of scope that hasn’t been present before.

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As for the cast I’m really enjoying the returning and new cast members as well. Hayley Atwell hasn’t lost a step as she’s still just a beautiful, witty and badass as she was before, but this time round she’s a more emotionally open and funnier than before. James D’Arcy continues to be hilarious and full of surprises as Edwin Jarvis with his new training regimen and need for adventure. Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa is my favourite of the returning cast as he’s changed so much with him becoming a Chief of another department of the SSR and having a new girlfriend that he wants to marry, while also having feelings for Peggy too. seeing how his life has changed and some of the emotional turmoil that he’s dealing with is great to watch. also seeing the return of Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson and Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood was also welcome, however, I am very curious to know where Dottie’s gone and when she’ll cross paths with Peggy again because I really love it when Dottie’s around being all creepy and subtly psychotic. And with the new characters, Lotte Verbeek as Ana Jarvis is just a delight to watch, Reggie Austin also introduces some nice character moments as Jason Wilkes, and while I like Currie Graham as Calvin Chadwick, it’s his wife that was way more fascinating with Wynn Everett doing a really good job as Whitney Frost.

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I can’t wait to see where this show goes in the next few episodes, I’m hoping for something a little more exciting and superpowered than before, but so far Agent Carter‘s second season is off to a great start.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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A Quick Look Back At Agent Carter Season 1

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, how’s it going with y’all? As you can see I’ve not really wrote that much in recent times because I’m taking things easy around here. With that in mind I thought since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back in action, I thought it’d be nice to have a quick look back at Agent Carter and do a recap/review of sorts just to give you my impressions on the show as a whole. I’ll try to be brief I promise haha. 😛

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The series features focuses on Peggy Carter, a former field agent who is now relegated to doing administrative work for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (S.S.R), however when Howard Stark’s inventions get stolen and he’s labelled an enemy of the USA, he turns to Peggy to help clear his name. So the series follows Peggy as she goes on secret missions for Howard while trying to navigate life as a single woman in 1940s America.

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In a nutshell the story for this season was pretty good. Now I have to say after the two-part premiere of this series I did feel like the momentum slowed down and wasn’t as interesting, and while episodes were decent, they weren’t overly engaging for me and didn’t have that ‘wow’ factor that makes shows must watch TV. However after episode five things really started to pick up and by the finale I was left wanting more. The thing about Agent Carter is that there are a lot of similarities to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. like:

  • Both shows were born from a single character (Peggy Carter here and Phil Coulson for AoS)
  • Both shows were coming off of pretty big films in the MCU (Captain America 1 & 2 for AC and The Avengers for AoS)
  • Both shows started out kind of slow and decided to do a lot of set up and build foundations so that the pay-off at the end of the season was worth the wait
  • Both shows had connections to the MCU films and dug deeper into the comic book source material

Besides what I’ve displayed above, I believe that’s where the connections stop. While this show and AoS had a slow start and had a lot of set up which resulted in some dull or uninteresting episodes that had nothing to do with the main plot. Thankfully AC had an 8-episode season, which meant the story had to be told fairly quickly and that was good decision. Even though I would like to have had more episodes, all of the 8 episodes felt relevant and didn’t deviate from the main plot. There was good deal of mystery, action, spy-based stuff and drama too. What I appreciated about AC is that the danger was always present, there was always something new to learn and that there was a focus on not only Peggy, but her connections with others whether they be allies or villains. Plus the nods to the comics and other MCU films and characters was very welcome especially when it comes to the Black Widow program.

When it comes to the cast, they were really good and what appreciated was the fact that there is some character building for new people, while already established members of the MCU got more depth to them. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was brilliant, she continues to show why she is one of the best women of the MCU with a strong will, a good heart and a badass set of combat skills. She can be witty and uncompromising, but also melancholy and remorseful, she is just the perfect person you’d want on your team and you want to see her succeed through her endeavours because she’s such a great woman. Then there’s James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, as I’ve said before this man is awesome. He’s the butler of Howard Stark and tends to Stark’s every need, besides that he is full of secrets and skills that we discover of the course of the show which makes him pretty interesting to watch. He assists Peggy’s assistant in her mission to help Howard and he is just as witty as Peggy, however he can be a bit careless and not quite as sharp. Carter and Jarvis have some great chemistry whether it is moments of humour or moments of drama.

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Shea Whigham is pretty good as Roger Dooley, at first his character came across as another typical mean-spirited boss with no personality, but eventually he does develop and become someone pretty interesting. Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa was nice, he was probably the nicest of the males working at the S.S.R., however he was still a bit bland at first and it wasn’t until the latter part of the season when I got to like him.Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson is another character I didn’t care about at first because his initial impressions were less than welcoming, however he too was a character who I grew to respect because we got to learn about his backstory and saw him interact with Peggy a lot too. Dominic Cooper again does a really good job as Howard Stark, continuously Cooper’s performance really mirrors that of Robert Downey Jr. as Howard continually shows more and more parrells to Tony, showcasing where most of Tony’s best and worst attributes stem from in the first place. Also Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood, what a lady! She was a great antagonist for the series and he double act was really fun to watch, though what was even more impressive was Dottie’s backstory and her demeanour when in attack mode, she was cold, vicious and aggressive. And finally Ralph Brown did a goo job as Johann Fennhoff while Lyndsy Fonseca was really fun and charismatic as Angie Martinelli.

As for the presentation it is pretty good. The visual style is nice and the cinematography is good, but the best thing is about the show is the action. The action sequences are well-shot and wonderfully choreographed especially when Peggy and/or Dottie are involved.

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In conclusion Agent Carter‘s first season was pretty good. It was off to a rocky start in the early episodes, however, once we got around half way in, things got a little more interesting and some of the early set up really started to pay off with the revelations in the later episodes. The short number of episodes are good, the performance from Hayley Atwell and the rest of the cast were great and the action was very nicely done. I do hope this series gets a second season, it would be a shame for these stories to end so soon.

Rating: 8/10

So did you see the first season of Agent Carter and if so what did you think? Do you think it lived up to expectations or not and if there is a second season what would you like to see? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Agent Carter Episode 1 & 2 Quick Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, hope you all are doing well and what not. Time for a look back into the realm of television and today I’m going to give you my quick impressions of the season premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Now I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time, ever since the Agent Carter One-Shot, I knew I wanted to see more of Hayley Atwell in this role and now we have this series, an eight episode show that will continue the adventures of Peggy Carter and will expand the MCU. So how does the first two episodes fare? Well read on and find out!

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The first two episodes entitled “Now is Not the End” and “Bridge and Tunnel” deals with Peggy Carter now being recruited by Howard Stark when the country believes that he is selling deadly weapons to their enemies. And since Stark’s most dangerous weapon falls into enemy hands, it’s down to Peggy to recover it, however, her undercover mission is threaten when her superiors at the Strategic Scientific Reserve, Chief Dooley and Agent Thompson are after the same weapon.

Story-wise the episodes was pretty good as it basically shows us Peggy Carter’s status in life, why she gets back into the field of action and what her main goal is. What I liked was that there was a solid balance between the story and action. I loved seeing how Peggy was still grieving over Steve and how she felt like she didn’t have a purpose, that is until Howard comes back into play and offers her a mission. But even after she gets back into action, there are still drama and losses in her life that can’t be avoided. This mission presents new dangers and adventures for Peggy now along with her companion Edwin Jarvis and all this needs to be done while Peggy does her usual job at the S.S.R. It seems like Stark has people who wants his technology and have found a way to weaponize it, we don’t know who yet, but it does make you wonder who it is. Some of the best moments in the episodes are the small character moments either with Peggy on her own or when she’s undercover or talking to Jarvis or Daniel. There are also some connections to the first Captain America film, not over-the-top, but just enough to be relevant.

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As for the cast, they were great. Hayley Atwell was on fire as Peggy Carter. Besides still being one of the most gorgeous women to grace film and TV screens in recent times, she is a fine actress and adds a lot of fun, style and drama to a character that many fan have come to love already. This Peggy is more vulnerable than before, however she is still just as badass as ever, kicking men’s asses, using witty remarks and using her incredible undercover skills to get what she wants. I appreciate how these episodes show how smart and resourceful Peggy can be and how missions require her to become a different person altogether which was fun to watch. Then there’s James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, this guy is awesome. He is the butler of Howard Stark, left to be Peggy’s assistant in her endeavours. He is just as sharp and witty as Peggy, however he has a wife and a life he must maintain beyond his responsibilities with Peggy. Together with Peggy he has some great banter and some wonderful intimate moments too.

Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa was also cool, he’s an agent also working at the S.S.R. and a war veteran. The guy gets an abuse from his co-workers, but doesn’t let it get him down and at times he defends Peggy when possible (even though she doesn’t require it). Gjokaj was one of my favourite parts of Dollhouse, so to see him again in another TV in a substantial role, he’s a good actor and his chemistry with Atwell is lovely. Shea Whigham is good as Roger Dooley, he’s the chief of the S.S.R. and he’s a gruff and serious kind of guy. Whigham is a great actor and I love seeing him in action and his character in this film is very similar in personality and style to Eli Thompson in Boardwalk Empire which was fun considering the time period. Dominic Cooper returning as Howard Stark was kick ass, Cooper has always been a joy to watch in this role and he once again does a fine job. I also liked Costa Ronin’s appearance as Anton Vanko, Chad Michael Murray did a good as Jack Thompson and Lyndsy Fonseca was a charming lady as Angie Martinelli.

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When it comes to the presentation is it nice. Visually the show is consistent with Captain America: The First Avenger and the Agent Carter Short with the muted colours, great lighting and good use of visual effects (I assume) to imitate the old 1940’s look. The action is nicely done with thrilling action scenes whether it involves hand-to-hand combat, car rides, chase sequences or explosions, it is very good, realistic and restrained considering the crazy amounts of items that the MCU have at their disposal. And the soundtrack by Christopher Lennertz is decent, it doesn’t have the same amount of charisma and style as the One-Shot, however it does have its moments.

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In conclusion Agent Carter is off to a very good start, the new adventures in the 1940’s are thrilling, mysterious and leave you wanting to know more. There is a great deal action and wonderful performances from Hayley Atwell and the rest of the cast. While some of the mysteries surrounding Howard Stark’s technology is a bit hard to follow and there’s nothing in this show that’s blown me away, again, the show has started off very strong and has potential to grow and become even better.

Rating: 8.5/10 (or 8/10 for both episodes)

So did you see the first two episodes of Agent Carter and if so what did you think? And how would you compare it to the Agent Carter One-Shot and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Cloud Atlas Review

Man, I am ashamed that it’s taken me this long to get watch Cloud Atlas, sure it’s only been around a week but this was one of my most anticipated films. Why? Well I saw the trailer for this when it first hit the internet back in the summer and I thought it looked incredible. It just looked, unique, mysterious and full of originality. I was gutted when I found out that Americans were gonna get the film in November while we over here in the UK had to wait until FRIGGIN’ FEBRUARY! What the hell! Oh well, the film’s finally been released over here and I’ve watched it, so what’s the verdict? Well read on and find out!

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The story of this film has been described as:

“An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”

In truth that’s the best way to sum it up. In truth what I got from the film was that there were people in different points in time whose actions affected others. It is a little hard to explain without having seen the trailers or the full film, but I thought it was very interesting stuff. I liked the themes of survival, love, courage and change. There are loads of stories going on in this film and you literally jump from one to the other at any given moment, at first this was really surprising and took a while to adjust to but after a while you grow accustomed to it. The concept for this film is bloody impressive and is executed in a unique fashion, however I feel like the overall idea from the original novel didn’t translate across to the audience the way I feel the filmmakers thought it would. I’m not saying I could do a better job because trying to adapt a novel is no easy task, all I’m saying is that by the end of the story some people will be left either in awe or in a state of confusion.

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When it comes to the characters, that’s a hard one to talk about without going into specifics, but the film features the acting talents of the following people: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.

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I’ll just highlight a few of the performances that stood out for me. Firstly there’s Tom Hanks, he was fabulous and was probably the actor with the most parts. It was great to see how different each character was and see how versatile Hanks was as an actor. Next we have Halley Berry, this is easily her best film in years. Berry actually look pretty hot at certain points, plus all of her characters were different and interesting. Also Jim Broadbent was great in the film and he definitely brought his A-game to his characters that were really quirky and imaginative. And my other favourite characters were played by Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae as their stories were some of the most interesting a beautiful stuff to me. Now as you might have guessed all of the actors involved play different versions of themselves from different points in time so there’s a lot of make-up involved to alter their features. The make-up jobs on these actors can range from pretty good to downright awful, (Hugo Weaving what did they do to you in Neo Seoul!?!).

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When it comes to the presentation it is pretty kick ass for the most part. Besides the questionable make-up that I already mentioned, the cinematography is wonderful and there is some absolutely beautiful shots in the film especially in slow motion. There are also some great use of GCI in the film to create some of these futuristic worlds and action sequences, it was some impressive stuff especially the world Neo Seoul, (Korea). Also the soundtrack for the film by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil was beautiful and very captivating.

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Now while Cloud Atlas isn’t the experimental masterpiece that I was hoping for it was the most unique and ambitious films I’ve come across in a while. In these days of films in the cinema which are either remakes, reboots, spin-offs or your basic book-to-film adaptations, Cloud Atlas appears and really tries to deliver a different kind of film experience, and for that I applaud the film and the filmmakers. Now having said that, when the film ended some guy in the screening shouted “What a load of crap! Did anyone else understand the film?” Some people laughed. As I walked out I could still hearing him moaning away, “What a load of crap, can’t believe I wasted money on that film!” See its ignorant and foolish comments like that really bug the hell out of me, some people just don’t take to things that are different and just stick to the basic shit that Hollywood throws out most of the time. Hell I should have recommended him Movie 43. Anyways I just wanted to say just because Cloud Atlas is different doesn’t mean that it sucks.

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So in conclusion after finally watching Cloud Atlas I have to say while it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected it. Though it was still one of the most unique films I’ve seen with some intriguing stories and themes, characters and beautiful presentation. It is a pretty long film nearing around 3 hours but I’d say give this film a chance and then make up your mind afterwards.

Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s a film experience that needs to be seen.)

So there’s my review people, have you seen Cloud Atlas and if so what are your thoughts on it? Whatever they may be drop them below and comment away. I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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