Last Time On Hemlock Grove : Roman crashes his car and enters the Lament Configuration. not really, but he is in a coma where fucked up shit happens. Norman and Olivia confess their (obvious) love for each other, causing Norman some consternation - which will be completely forgotten in this episode.
This Time On Hemlock Grove : Roman is still in his Dr. Price induced coma. Olivia chants some gibberish at him. Shelly looks concerned. Elsewhere Peter is banging Letha. Actually the pan down the hallway takes about 20 minutes. Clearly Peters trailer contains a door to Narnia or something. This scene serves no purpose but to show Peters ass. So if your twelve there's that. Then he tells a story about killing a fairy. Not, not as in a hate crime, but an actual Tinkerbell fairy. Here's your protagonist folks your pregnant girl fucking, fairy killing protagonist. Mixed messages lead us to...OPENING CREDIT SEQUENCE NAP TIME!
With the most interesting thing in the show so far (Romans dreams) being completely ignores this week we get to spend a lot of time with the rest of our completely unlikable cast. Mainly, this is a Dr. Chausser episode. Which, depending on your tolerance for bullshit and nonsense, determines whether you will think it's a good thing or not. I think you know where I stand by now.
Chausser is a fucking wreck. She is convinced that Peter is not the wolf. But priest guy keeps telling her he is. She has a deep crisis of faith, the kind that can only be solved by drinking heavily by a magically refilling bottle of fake Jack Daniels. Drunkenly staring at some pictures she decides to go visit Destiny, Peters slutty psychic cousin. They have some boring conversation before Destiny lick her finger and shoves it down Chaussers pants. Yup it's about as stupid as it sounds. We get some flashback shit with the priest shown here too, but it doesn't really mean anything. Peter eventually shows up at Chaussers shitty hotel room and begs her not to let anything happen to Letha since it's a full moon and all.
This is after he stops by Romans bedside to scream at Letha about not going out after dark, but not explicitly telling her that a wolf will eat her. She doesn't understand, but she also thinks an angel visited her in the night and impregnated her, so consider who your dealing with.
Letha's mother found her diary or phone or something and learned about her fucking Peter. She's outraged. She turns to a now returning Norman (Remember that thing last episode where he couldn't go home because of his guilt? - Well forget it.) to put a stop to these teenage shenanigans. Norman tries best he can, but knows he's the biggest hypocrite in the world for doing so. In the end Peter ends up coming over for dinner. Mom gets pissed and storms off. Norman gets Peter drunk. Good parenting there Norm.
Bad parenting continues after Peter gets the shit kicked out of him at school for some reason. Seriously, we are 9 episodes in and how many months into the show storyline wise and he finally has some problems at school. It's not because he did anything either. Some random kids just come up and kick the shit out of him becasue he's the new guy? IT MAKES NO SENSE! Especially after Peter has aligned himself to the richest kid in school and is clearly fucking the hot (albeit pregnant) blond chick. So Peter gets the shit beat out of him, Olivia picks up him and Letha at school and drives them back to the trailer. Peter and Letha run off to his room and Lily Taylor and Olivia fire up a great big joint. Really?
SIDEBAR: Okay, I know I've been doing these way too often but I need to address this because it's happened more in this episode than in any other. Eli Roth's Hostel (which I love) is set up as a string of shocking moments strung together by a decent narrative. Essentially that's what the film is - a string of increasingly shocking moments. This episode does the same thing, but the shocking things (or attempts at shocking) make no sense and are not in the least bit shocking. They serve absolutely no purpose in the story and do nothing to advance it towards any sort of logical conclusion. Why show Peters ass in the opening teaser, other than to get some 12 year old girl to blush? Why have Chausser and Destiny fuck, other than to throw in some pseudo-lesbianism to excite any 14 year old that hasn't heard of Pornhub. Why have Lily Taylor and Olivia fire up a joint other than to, I don't know, just to have some weed on set. Shocks can work if they change the direction of the narrative, or help advance the story. Here they are simply used to generate a cheap pop from a prepubescent audience. Rant over.
Also this week: Novelist girl returns. Remember her? She was last seen clawing at some dudes face? She's in an institution. Norman relays that the her and the boy she clawed are "Cool." Good, I was worried. The twins stopped by. The ugly one cried. They tried to be nice to her. It seemed pretty disingenuous, so it will probably go nowhere.
The clerk from the store stopped by to see Shelly. They hug. Next week they will probably fuck for no reason other than someone in the writing room started a sentence with "Wouldn't it be fucked up if..."
That's it for me. Until Next time. Thanks for reading. "Enjoy Every Sandwich."
Last Time On Hemlock Grove : Peter fucked Letha. Roman fucks a racially confusing girl. One of them was consensual. One of of them was not.
This Time On Hemlock Grove : Roman, post rape, heads out to the car for some night driving. He's still rather pissed so he snorts some coke - that should calm him down. He proceeds to start ranting and raving, calling Peter "a faggot" while doing so. Then he crashes his car. Shouldn't be calling people faggots. Looking up from the (mild) damage to the vehicle he spots Godfrey Tower. We spot the OPENING CREDIT SEQUENCE!
Back from the boredom and Roman is still pissed. He uses the creepy eye thing he does to get into the institute. He very quickly finds the door leading to Dr. Prices biggest secret. You'd think that such a big secret would be better hidden. But none the less, Roman fires up a conveniently located acetylene torch with the thought of cutting his way through the door. Did he even try knocking? Dr. Price stops him. Roman asks about Aura Boros. Price feigns surprise. He then shoots Roman up with some fairly heavy sedatives.
Roman is held in a room at the institute until Olivia shows up and whisks him away. Price objects, but Olivia usually gets what she wants. Shelly carries him up to her room. She's pretty broken up about this whole deal. She uses her iPhone to try and talk to Roman.
Roman responds by waking in his dream, which looks like a cross between something out of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and the inside of the Lament Configuration. His vision of Shelly (petite and beautiful) is there to guide him. But towards what? Shelly asks him to destroy the dragon. Little does she know that Daenerys has two others and doesn't like to be fucked with. Just ask Kraznys mo Nakloz. Throughout his walking nightmare he runs into most of the important characters in the Grove beginning with Dr. Chausser. Who finger paints the snake eating itself thing on his shirt. Interestingly Scully got that same tattoo during season 4 of The X-Files. Hopefully Roman doesn't end up with cancer...or a tattoo that talks.
He stumbles upon Norman next. He's holding an impromptu session out on the front lawn apparently. Final diagnosis. Roman has some daddy issues...and some mommy issues. Romans dead dad shows up wearing a wife beater - in hell they have no sleeves. They have words. Long story short, apparently Norman is Romans dad, or it all could just be a dream, so maybe not.
Dream Roman decides to go to school, after all education is important - even in your dreams. He settles in to a classroom to watch an old timey movie of Letha dancing. Because that's a fairly normal thing cousins do. His aunt finally shows up to yell at him, but she's got a serpents tongue, so I'm not sure she can be entirely trusted. He finally dream catches up with Peter. Peter talks about wet pussy...and scorpions, thankfully not in relation to each other. Dream Shelly shows up and tells him to stop fucking around, he's got shit to do. She disappears, he cries like a bitch. Dream Shelly screams. Roman grabs a battle axe (what is this Skyrim? If so he's going to need a few enchantments before that will be a useable weapon). Enchantments be damned, Roman vanquishes a dream werewolf from as it attacked dream Shelly. Unknown race girl then shows up naked to chastise Roman about how ugly he is. In response he gets a boner. Dream Shelly tells him to hurry the fuck up. To be fair she's the one that left and got in trouble in the first place. Maybe she should settle down.
Elsewhere : Dr. Chausser is getting a bit too big for her Fish and Wildlife britches. This spurns a visit from the priest guy who wants her to stay focused on Peter rather than Olivia. I'm sure there is a priest/young boy joke there somewhere but at this point I just don't care. She goes and visits Olivia anyway.Norman and Olivia confess their love for each other. Which prompts Norman to not be able to go home. This makes his wife sad.
Peter confesses to his mother that h'es boffing Letha. Then he does it again. Chausser takes pictures of them with a very big lensed camera. She then makes out with her amulet. End show.
This is an episode that will live in limbo until I see the next episode. Are Romans dream induced hallucinations just that? Or are they secret truths he's learning. If it's the former than it's a pretty big waste of an hour. If it's the second, at least it moves the story forward while giving you something different to look at. Either way it wasn't a bad show, simply because of the oddness of it. Odd or not though, the narrative is still moving at a snails pace. It seems like they set up so many dangling participles that things need to get moving toward some sort of end game or the last few episodes are going to be an absolute disaster.
As always thanks for reading. "Enjoy every sandwich."
Those of you who regularly read the drivel I post on this site, first, thank you, second, I'm sure you are aware that I recently spent two weeks traveling around south east Asia on a vacation/exploring tour. This trip included two very long (16 hour) plane rides between JFK here in NY and Hong Kong. During that time, not only was I was able to read Stephen King's epic "Under the Dome" in anticipation of the mini-series coming in June on CBS, but I was also had the chance to take in a few films, thanks to the good folks at Cathay Pacific. A couple of days ago I posted a review of Hitchcock, which you can review here. I also watched The Hobbit (for the sixth time), This Is 40 (which sucked) and the subject of this review Warm Bodies.
Controversial as soon as it was announced, Warm Bodies was written and directed by Jonathan Levine (All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) and produced by Summit Entertainment. And therein lies the the root of many peoples consternation as the Summit are the same folks who unleashed the scourge that is the Twilight franchise on the world. From the time the first trailer hit hard core zombie loving horror fans decried the film as an act of heresy akin to pouting, shiny, vampires. One that should be driven to the depths of hell, never to be seen again. Are they right?
Nicholas Hoult is R a member of a group of undead that to hang out at the airport and in very Dawn Of The Dead style, subconsciously engage in many of the same routine behaviors they did while still alive. R, via voice over, takes us through his mundane existence since the world went to shit. He has a best friend, M (Rob Courddry) whom he meets for "breakfast" every morning. He has a really cool plane (all to himself) with a great vinyl collection and working record player! But life (death?) is not all wine and roses. A subculture exists within the undead. The creatures lurking on the outside of the corpse community, called "boneys," and have given up all hope, surviving only to kill. Outside the airport R's kind are hunted by humans who have legitimate beef with the fact that corpses, well, eat them.
One morning at the breakfast counter, R and M decide they are hungry. Along with a larger pack of their friends, they leave the airport hunting for food. They run across a group of well armed civilians out scouting for medicine. Conflict ensues and R falls head over heels for Julie (Kristen Stewart look alike Theresa Palmer), but not until he eats her ex-boyfriends brains and gains some of his memories. R decdes that rather than eat Julie he is going to save her. He sneaks her back to the airport and up to his bachelor plane where he holds her not quite captive.
As they spend more time together R begins to regain some of his more human qualities. Julie eventually tries to escape. She is cornered by M and the rest of the airport crew. R steps in and saves her. In doing so, this very human act awakens something inside the rest of the corpses inheriting the airport, well the act and a picture of two people holding hands. Unfortunately for M and the rest of the crew their humanizing makes them a target of the boneys. Julie makes her way back to the pseudo military camp she lives in that happens to be run by her nut job father (John Malkovich). R is sad. M pledges to help him, but first war with the boneys.
R and Julie are reunited. She introduces him to her father and that goes just about as well as you'd expect. Her father changes his tune after teh corpses are witnessed fighting the boney and R starts to bleed. Boneys are eliminated adn the corpses start evolving back into humans. The end.
Reading those paragraphs it doesn't sound like too bad of a film and there are some clever lines and even classic Guns N' Roses. But in truth, Warm Bodies a bad film. It's not scary. It's barely funny. It's not romantic. It's almost clever. It's certainly not smart. It's just there and 10 minutes after it's over you forget it even exists - disposable diapers. Levines script takes a lot of liberties with the zombie sub-genre. But that's not really an issue. The addition of the boneys and brain eating equaling memory gain are both acceptable, even intriguing additions to the zombie mythos. It's the rest of the film that just insults the shit out of the movie going public that is absolutely infuriating. Julie may be the dumbest film character I've seen in quite a long while. Potentially interesting conflict points are brushed aside to get to another mind numbingly boring voice over by R. John Malkovich is dare I say, (yes, I think I do) criminally under used. That's just the tip of the iceberg of the problems with the film.
Warm Bodies isn't an affront to zombie films. It's not going to set the sub-genre back 20 years. It's not the Twilight of the undead. It's simply just a bad film. A bad film, made worse by the fact that it comes so close to being something watchable, but makes all the wrong decisions at all the wrong times.
If you are a zombie purist, no this film doesn't signal the beginning of the end for your beloved sub-genre. Ditto for all you hard core horror fans. It's just a movie. Albeit a bad one, but still just a movie.
* and 1/2 out of *****
Thanks for reading! "Enjoy every sandwich."
Two weeks touring southern Asia can really rip a guy out of the loop. A Gremlins remake? Really? Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up and say "Fuck you Hollywood. I'm done." But then I come to my senses settle in to a 16 hour flight from Hong Kong to NYC and check out what films the good folks at Cathay Pacific have decided to bless us with this time. Now I have to confess I did watch The Hobbit film first...but then I fired up Hitchcock (FKA Alfred Hitchcock and The Making of Psycho).
First things first, Alfred Hitchcock is probably my favorite director of all time. It's hard for me to watch any film, be it horror or not, and not see his finger prints somewhere. When this project was first announced with Sir Anthony Hopkins and the indomitable Helen Mirren attached I immediately took to it like a fish to water. The fact that I hadn't had the opportunity to see it until now is one of the greatest crimes ever perpetrated on humanity.
Hopkins is, of course, Hitchcock and being Sir Anthony Hopkins, he is of course wonderful. But it's Mirren as Hitch's wife Alma who is really the star. Alma's struggle with her place in Hitchcocks world is really the driving narrative of the film. She, as Hitchcocks wife, had resigned herself to everything that comes with that post, including Hitch's emotional, lets call it aloofism. So when someone else comes along that may be able to give her something that's missing from her primary relationship, she is forced to confront some long standing demons.
Hitchcock is ultimately a love story. The love between Alfred and Alma and Alfred and film making. Director Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story Of Anvil - which I fucking love!) slides effortlessly between the two stories. This is, unfortunately, the biggest issue with the film. With such an iconic character and two compelling story lines, ultimately you are left wanting more from all of them. Gervasi wraps everything up in a nice little bow at the end, but it all just seems thin.
It's a shame that it feels that way because there are so many great things happening in the film. Like I stated before there are a bevy of great performances. Mirren received a number of nominations for her part as Alma. Scarlett Johansson is great as Janet Leigh. And of course Hopkins is superb as the legendary director and title character. The only nitpicky acting thing is Jessica Biel as Vera Miles. Playing against such heavy weights, she often struggles to hold her own.
Hitchcock, is a very good film. It had all the potential to be great. if you are a fan of Psycho, or Hitchocks work itself - this is a must see film. If you are looking for a comprehensive docudrama regarding Hitchcock or his filmaking look somewhere else. This is not the place for you.
***1/2 out of *****
Last Time On "Hemlock Grove": Olivia coughs up flesh. Shaggy and Scooby investigate the haunted mill. Novelist Girl's date goes very badly. And who stills goes to the library?
This Time On "Hemlock Grove": We start (as all teasers seem to start) with some Shelly back story. The good news is, I guess, if you onlywant Shelly's story, then you only need to watch the teaser (lucky you). At Shelly's funeral, Normans brother asks him to start counseling Olivia. Norman protests knowing it's a bad idea. But he concedes because if there's one thing we've learned about Norman - he's a pussy...and he hates yellow paint. That whole thing leads us to the Dexter/Masters Of Horror Opening Credit Sequence! Sadly, this show will not be as good as either one of those.
There is some major distention in the ranks of Miami Metro as Crockett is pretty much finished with Tubbs, or rather Peter is still pissed at Roman for leaving him at the abandoned mill and making him walk 5 whole miles home. Seriously? Dude's a gypsy and a werewolf, 5 miles should be nothing. Roman want's to make nice but Peter is playing hard to get. Roman, being the stable person he his threatens to kill Peter if he (Peter) fucks his (Romans) cousin (Letha).
Speaking of Letha, she's become a regular Nancy Drew herself. Snooping and prodding around her fathers office until she manages to find Norman's brother's suicide note. Which she promptly reads, steals and gives to Peter on the school bus. Wait, I thought Letha had a car? A blue Toyota electric deally? She was driving it when she went to Peters house a couple episodes ago. But continuity is not the series strong suit so I guess we'll just roll with it.
As for the note you ask? Well turns out Normans brother knew all about the affair and had some words of warning for his bro. Mostly they were: "I know you're fucking her. Enjoy it now. Last laughs on you. She's a crazy bitch and will kill you." Norman waxes nostalgic about the beginning of the affair and how much of a dick he is to his wife. This includes a slide show on his lap top with pictures of his little toddler Letha, his lovely wife and her smart phone. Wait. What? Yup. Letha is maybe 3 in the pics, but her Mom has the latest Droid phone...13 years ago. This is some wacky time traveling town! Seriously, more LAZY BULLSHIT! Is anyone paying attention? I think you, me, the Pennsylvania washroom and the Samsung Galaxy 3 from 1999 know the answer to that.
Speaking of 1999, Peter and Letha begin to reenact an episode of The OC from that very year. Peter plays the part of the flirty guy who gets the girl back to his place but then gets all emo because he thinks the stand up, good guy thing to do would be to not fuck her. Letha is the pregnant slut who wants to get it on, long and hard. She uses all her wily charms, which is really nothing more than asking about her hideous shirt, but then again she is a 17 year old pregnant virgin, so her game probably isn't as refined as a semester at Sarah Lawrence would make it.
Roman on the other hand is dealing with the Peters rejection in the most logical way possible - by standing in his bathroom and doing line after line of coke. Don't these kids ever study? Not happy with the cocaine high, Roman decides to step things up a notch and take the razor blade to his face. The blood starts to flow when the doorbell rings. It's our favorite wolf slayer Dr. Chausser. She has some rather pointed questions for Roman. He resists at first, but after a couple of minutes succumbs to her weird colored eyes and starts whining like a baby. Luckily, Olivia arrives and saves us from watching a grown man blubber. Roman gets a call from Norman looking for Letha. He knows exactly where she is.
Letha finally breaks Peter and gets him to drop his pants. They get it on. Where the hell is this kids mom? Outside, in the driving rain, Roman watches the whole thing go down. Angry (of course) he heads over to the maybe Native American, maybe Asian chick who wanted to dance with him a few episodes back house (how is that for a terrible sentence?). Her parents are also no where to be found as Roman turns all crazy again and rapes her (maybe in the butt, it was hard to tell). He uses the staring eyes power thing to convince her none of this happened. I think her asshole might disagree in the morning.
SIDEBAR: More fucking laziness. Roman cuts himself on the cheek with a razor not an hour before the raping. Yet, but the time he gets to confusing ethnic girls house...NO CUT...you have to be kidding me. I can make an exception for the band aid (which her was wearing) falling off. That was a pretty heavy Hollywood rain storm. But to have the cut just totally disappear. I'm calling bullshit. Not only that, I was going to let it pass but my bloods all angered right now...the huge fucking cut on his chest from a couple episodes ago seems to come and go as well. We get some scenes where he's heavily bandages and then some scenes where he's wearing a wife beater so see through you can see his nipples, but there are no bandages visible through the shirt. Again pure laziness...
Moving on...Shelly (get the Frankenstein reference...she's been rebuilt after dying? Amateur hour here folks) took the bus into town to buy those earrings the clerk showed her. Olivia is mortified by both the bus and the earrings. Roman sticks up for her. When Olivia tries to shut him down, he makes the startling revelation that his father left the whole company to him. What? On his 18th birthday he inherits the whole fucking thing. Where to start here...first of all estate planning 101. If you are the millionaire head of a huge corporation you never leave the entire inheritance, the money, business, the real estate to one person. You set it up in a trust managed by many people. The trust managers along with someone from the bank or investment company (usually a combination of both) will deem when a person is set to receive any sort of inheritance. Second, you never, ever leave it all to an 18 year old. Sure the conservatorship could dole out funds when necessary, but never all at once. So either this is just writing laziness again or...Romans father was the dumbest man on the planet. Either way Roman now has this to hold over his mother.
Who by the way comes crawling on her hands and knees to Lily Taylor for more of her funny eye drops. Lily charges her 5000 a bottle, Olivia is shocked but agrees. Then she eats a shitload of raw meat - showing us once again that she's some sort of werewolf.
If you didn't get that from that scene or the scene an episode before where she coughed up raw meat in the teaser. Then the scene where Dr. Chausser finds the rest of the body at the mill right next to a size 10 Manolo Blahnick should do it for you.
That's it for me this episode. Sorry, but it's just so stupid. I will continue to watch and review simply for the train wreck possibilities, but I've pretty much given up hope of this thing turning around. It's not that the story is bad. It's just that it's lazy, and that's worse. I can deal with bad if they try, but bad because of lack of effort is unacceptable.
As always, thanks for reading. "Enjoy every sandwich."