Boring Bourne instead of Jason Bourne – all you need to know about the new blockbuster

Whoopie! That´s what some of us may have thought when the news on a new Jason Bourne production got out. But the result is much more likely to sound like “boo”.

Don´t get me wrong: the movie is not bad, it´s just not a true “Jason Bourne” like movie. It totally lacks Bourne´s motivation to find out more about himself, his aspiration to understand what´s going on around him and his to the viewer transparent motives.

This time, it rather seems as if Bourne got bored over the years and just wants something to chase after. Most evidently, I won´t spoil too much of the movie for you in case you want to see it, but let´s say that some specific events that should provoke some kind of a reaction even in Jason Bourne, don´t seem to bother the (ex-?)-agent at all.

So, while the super killer agent finally gets to have a little action, the 12-year old looking true protagonist of the story makes it her goal to catch Bourne (what a new plotline! *sarcasm*). Heather Lee (played by Alicia Vikander) seems to represent in a rather negative way the new generation of the 1990s and 2000s: techno-freak, way too ambitious and too sure of herself. The fact that sooner or later she is double-crossed by Bourne only puts her in an even worse light. Of course, it´s great that women get to play roles as leaders – but not if they get mocked.

Therefore, how can I best sum up this compulsively composed new addition to the Bourne series with a plotline lighter than a feather? Well, I think I just did.

My tip for you, little ducklings: Don´t go to the theatres and see it, it´s a waste of your money and time. Just wait until one of your friends throws a movie night and decides to watch the whole series (including the newest “Jason Bourne”)! Then, at least, more will agree that it probably would have been better to not do a movie at all instead of trying desperatly to find a way to bring back Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.

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Sherlock, The Abominable Bride, Review

First of all: Happy New Year, dear little ducklings! And with the new year comes a new episode of one of BBC´s finest television series,”Sherlock”. Not only is it the first special holiday episode, it is also set in the 19th century – beware, now comes the spoilers – at least, partly.

“The abominable bride” can best be described as a sherlock-centric inception-like adventure. Switching between a 19th-century decor and where the viewers were last left off, reality or fiction aren´t the most appropiate terms to be used here. Instead, the episode begs to differ between the ordinary and the extraordinary as Sherlock falls deeper and deeper into the latter, only to discover that what he thought to be ordinary might possibly be still in the extraordinary.

On the one hand, a very elaborate, artistic way of implementing the simple idea of using a cold case to solve an ongoing one and on the other hand, a confusing and existential-philosophical visual essay about the realms of Possibility, this episode can be summarized in one concise sound: Hm.

While one-third of the drama balances a psycho-horror-crime story with…no story at all, the rest of the remaining time is spend dwelling on “What is actually the point here?”. It is clear that this special episode wanted to offer more insight into Sherlock´s mind, though digging into the past might not have been the best choice. Even though visual adaptations of Sherlock Holmes´ character have been countlessly undertaken, “Sherlock” always remained unique as it placed the iconic characters and storylines in the 21st century. Taking away the core of the show makes it hard for the viewer to recognize it, yet alone familiarize with it.

What I personally missed the most was the fun, the humour, the wit. There were a few lines which might have curled the lips just slightly, but overall the only thing I can truly say is: It was pretty boring.

For all those of you who profoundly know “Sherlock”, it is clear that is has never been about what´s real or not, but much rather about what´s possible or not. And for all I can say, this episode was impossible.

My rating for you ducklings: Wait until the next episode. Perhaps, it will be able to repair the damages made to such an iconic and authentic image.

The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 Review

After years of following the tragic, suspenseful fight against tyranny and inhumanity, the dystopian series based upon Suzanne Collins´ trilogy comes with “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” to an end as true as the first part of the whole franchise.

Overall, the mega-blockbuster is a hit. It has everything that theatre audiences love: the action, the love-triangle and of course the happy ending. Though, through the brilliant acting job by Jennifer Lawrence, admirers of the art of visual storytelling won´t be deceived. Her anti-heroism does not losen up until the very last scene – which very different and somehow better than in the book – seems to highlight her true, but deeply hidden motive of her fight and to finally crown her with a heroism which is much more personal and everyday-like: to love.

However, let´s not forget some incoherences in the story-telling of the motion picture. While in the first part of “Mockingjay” Katniss seemed to be more obsessed about Peeta than anything else going on around her, his presence in the second installment made her mostly want to kill him until she suddenly changes her mind and loves him. Their difficult relationship was rather poorly portrayed and explained and is only sustained by the fact that the audience knows they´ll end up together. This is enhanced by the way Gale is changing from the strong, powerful hunter to the vulnerable, weak and coward-like soldier. Especially the scene where Katniss appears to be a reenactement of President Snow displays the shift of power.

In contrast to the previous films, “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” features multiple perspectives instead of focusing on Katniss´s which at multiple occasions makes it difficult to fully identify with the hero and thus understand her deep motives and feelings. Expect her one and only outburst towards the end, the “Mockingjay” seems to be getting colder and harder every second, only displaying emotion as a way to make a point instead of really feeling the pain.

But one element has been brilliantly achieved with the last part: the paradoxic parallel opposition between Katniss and Snow expressed through their gradual approach in their thinking-patterns. While they are very different from each other in their way of being – good versus evil, hero versus tyrann, human versus cruel – they each represent one pole of morality which comes to a final meeting point during the scene in the rose garden. Katniss is the expression of the other extreme of Snow, thus filling his place for the better and thereby realizing that she or anybody else is not better than he is. Instead, she finally sees the similarity and understands that those who want to be better than him, don´t want to be different, resulting in her decision to assasinate President Coin.

This episode which is thinly described in the book is greatly shown in the visual adaptation making “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2” a honorable end of the franchise.

To conclude, my tip for you is: Go see it and feel it. May the goosebumbs always remember this great cinematic achievement.

The Dark Too/Two – Once Upon A Time, Season 5, Episode 8 and 9 Review!

Normally, I wouldn´t write about one specific episode of a season as it is much to detailed and would reveal a lot of spoilers. But I guess by now (be careful now comes the spoiler), everybody knows that during the double episode (episode 8: “Birth” & episode 9: “The Bear King”) in the fifth season  of ONCE UPON A TIME, a lot of appearently “juicy” infos were revealed.

There comes my review: Coming from the creatores of “Once upon a time” and their previous fantastic double episodes, this one was a very big disappointement to me. The revelation of Emma having turned Hook into another Dark One in order to save his life (may I remark here that even though he might be dark, he is alive, but he´s still complaining?) is somehow a little bit out of the ordinary, but nothing which made my heart beat faster. It´s evident that everyone would choose drastic measures to keep their loved ones alive and I am sure that Hook would have done the same thing for Emma (he just doesn´t want to admit it).And plus: What´s so dramatic about it? I mean, okay, it´s maybe not that wonderful and sweet to be dark, but wouldn´t it be awesome to see Captain Swan as the Dark Duo being crazy villian and all (after all, what are TV-series for if not showing us the things we actually wouldn´t really like to see in real life!). Anyway, the whole over-the-top drama made the episode “Birth” look more like a failed attempt to keep the “Dark-Swan”-plotline interesting – which for the moment is not really a burner – than an actual revelation. The only good thing about it all was probably seeing Zelena back as the Wicked Witch from Oz, because, let´s be honest, she IS the best villian the show has ever had!

Now, let´s move on to “The Bear King”. Not that I don´t like Merida and her story, but the plot of this episode was pretty shallow and actually, Merida hadn´t played that much of a part in the overall storyline. To get a whole episode for yourself…well that´s something to be jealous about, Zelena! However, the comebacks of Mulan and Red and their women-power were pretty great (though the scene between Mary-Margaret & Red was not that good) and produced enjoyable scenes to watch. But that thing with Arthur and the helmet…how irrational was that please? He took it from Merida´s father and it didn´t work and now he stil comes back for it…even though it didn´t work? I mean, could he be anymore contradictive? (see that “Friends”-reminiscence here?)

To sum up: If you haven´t seen the double episode yet, don´t put your hopes up too high. Let´s just hope there will be either some juicy, awesome Dark Duo scenes…or wish that the midseason finale arrives ASAP.

PS: In case you have been wondering, if they are not running out of ideas (appearently Cruella de Vil is coming back), what about the whole Aladdin-story? Just hit it in the comments, in case you would enjoy to see the evil Dschafar with his parrot in the TV-series!

The rise (and fall?) of “Supergirl”

Hello, little Ducklings! I´m back with a new post about the latest newcomer in the world of superhero-TV-series: “Supergirl”. Airing mondays on CBS, the show tells the story of Superman´s cousin, Kara Zor-El who – when danger threathens the life of her sister – becomes Supergirl.

What you might expect from a show produced in the 21st century about a grown woman being a superhero is probably not the personification of a barbie doll in a short skirt and over-knee-boots. But, as it is very well explained in the pilot by Kara´s boss: A woman can be powerful and simultaneously a girl (what? Did anyone actually get that absolutly non-sense explanation of why Supergirl is not called Superwoman?). This example precisely shows the lack of quality in the dialogue of “Supergirl”, as Kara constantly oscilliates between overenthusiasm and euphoria or self-consciousness and depression.

As the is based on the comic books, the producers might not have been able to change the name or costume of “Supergirl”, though they could have done a better job integrating the very stereotypical portrayal of women in supertight clothes in today´s societal and cultural structures. Maybe skirts are better for flying. Or being called a girl instead of a woman is conntected with Kara´s young and sligthly rebellious character. Anyway, there are many ways to have better persuaded the viewers of “Supergirl”´s earnestness.

So, my tip for you: If you like superheroes and don´t mind the whole 1950s comic book-portrayal of women, then go for it! Though, I hope that a few things get better along the season such as 1. the dialogue (I kind of have enough of Kara´s childish arguments with her sis´), 2. the plotline (which is kind of repetitive, see arguments!) and 3. the special effects (which are pretty good but compared to “The Flash” a little bit weak!).

 

The elegant bromance

Suit up little Ducklings! One week after the start of “Suits”´ fifth season on USA Network, the popular TV-series about angry, but good-dressed lawyers got renewed for another season.

And that even though the viewers´ numbers decreased over the years. So what makes this TV-series that interesting that one of the major US-networks decides to give it another go for next year?

To summen it up briefly: “Suits” is about two guys, one kicking-ass lawyer and one other kicking-ass lawyer who however doesn´t actually have a law degree (even though he wrote and passed tests for others to enter law school). Then, you also have the always bitchy-behaving boss Jessica but after a while you realize that she´s actually  a very tough and good boss and that the “bitchy-thing” is only due to the fact that she is woman (you can try the experiment and imagine a man speaking her lines: it would really not be that bitchy!). And last, but not least, you do have Louis Litt who seems to be angry, jealous, depressed, crazy and totally immoral 24/7 for most of the time for no reason at all. So, what do you think?

Of course, one can´t leave out the two beautiful  love interests of the protagonists whose witty and smart lines might be the one of the only reason you keep watching the series. Rachel is Mike´s (the fraud) precious jewel and Donna is Harvey´s (the real kicking-ass lawyer) secretary, though ,over the seasons, you kind of get the impression that there is more to the story. And of course it is! But: I don´t want to spoiler here.

For me, it is very difficult to understand why I myself keep watching “Suits”. Nothing ever really changes: It´s always the same curses, problems, fights and (more or less effective) conciliations. Not to forget that in every episode the viewer has to desperatly understand cases which at the beginning seem complicated, difficult and impossible to solve and at the end, are resolved by a simple signature of a guest star. And one thing you learn for sure: Love always comes after the career.

But isn´t this what series are all about? The creators  keep prolonging or repeating the same usual stories because they know that´s what we want to see, right? Maybe that´s why I did not completly watch the fourth season: they tried something new and got more entangled with a case than with an actual plot. I, as a viewer, couldn´t follow anymore and everything around the case lost relevance.  Perhaps, that might be the reason why between August 2014 and January 2015 the series lost a huge amount of viewers.

All in all, what can I say? “Suits” is absolutly NOT an all-nighter and I am not sure it is really a relaxing type of series because of all the fighting, but for all of you who watchted “Suits” for a couple of years now, I believe it is still worth to continue the journey with the angry, but good-dressed lawyers – at least for the fifth season. And for all of you who did not yet watch the TV-series: you can spare yourselves the first few seasons and easily start with the fifth without having missed anything at all.