Thursday, August 30, 2012

BBC's Sherlock: Massive Review

This is late, I am ashamed I am so sorry. o_O

It's exciting, it's addicting, and it's utterly brilliant.

The Splurge is gonna be a little massive for several reasons:

1) I will do a mini-review on each episode. Which is six reviews. This won't be overviews on the plots, not really. I'll just splurge on each episode, trying to be as articulate as possible. 

2) Pictures.

3) Quotes/Clips/Fanvideos

4) A general Pros/Cons list at the end

5) It's Sherlock and I can't shut up about it. So there. Don't say I didn't warn you.


I'm prefacing this with the fact that before watching, I knew very little about Sherlock Holmes. I knew he lived on Baker St. and he had a sidekick named John Watson; that he smoked a pipe and had a hat and solved something to do with dogs and Baskerville. But I had never read any of the stories (this has been remedied now, I assure you). 
I shall assume you know at least as much as I did. If you know more, then very, very good for you. 

Now. Let us begin. Bear in mind, Sherlock is has a rating of TV-14.


S01 E01
A Study In Pink

This is the introduction. This is where we meet John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street... and how those two met each other. The case is as exciting as all get-out, and as intelligent as the books. The translation of Sherlock into the modern world was completely believable. They include a lot of little tributes to the original stories, instead of trying to copy them, and that makes it work.
Benedict Cumberbatch is THE perfect Sherlock Holmes. And there is no other John but Freeman. Sorry, Downey Jr./Law fans. Sorry.
Anyway, translating Sherlock's brilliant but rather eccentric character and making him work in the 21st century was..... amazing. There are no words. I pretty much guarantee you will love it.
Swearing aside, there is one inappropriate (mutable) conversation and one awkward (skippable) conversation. Otherwise fantastic. (Email me if you would like my edit notes for all the episodes.)
Yeah. A Study In Pink is a very "classic-y" feeling Sherlock episode. The perfect introduction to 21st-century Sherlock. And it's much more brains than brawn.
The sort of disconnect Sherlock has with the real world, and yet somehow seeing it more clearly than the rest of us, it's shown perfectly. The practical John Watson, the rather presumptuous Anderson, sweet Mrs. Hudson and steady Lestrade are a fantastic balance for his..... Sherlockness.

S01 E02
The Blink Banker

This one is a case dealing with Chinese smugglers, two murdered bankers and much strangulation. A lot more intensity as far as action/peril goes. This one is just as brilliant as the first, if not more so. The one thing with watching Sherlock is, you really have to stay on your toes. It's easy to miss something.
Anyway. Not too much so say. This is a good episode. Enough funny, enough brains, and quite a bit of action and intensity as well. And nothing really objectionable (There is one statue at the museum that is singled out for a reason in the episode. But it could use some... clothing. This could be a problem for some people. But that's it.)

"I always hear 'punch me in the face' when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext."

S01 E03
The Great Game

And here is where we meet Moriarty. This episode involves a series of puzzles that Sherlock has to solve  within a certain number of hours. If he doesn't solve one within the time restraint, someone with a bunch of bombs strapped to them is blown up. Yeah. It's a fantastic episode though. The relationship with Sherlock and his older brother Mycroft surfaces again, and also we get to see Sherlock when he's bored. Hysterical.
The one thing, which seems slightly less absurd by this time, is the severed head John finds in the fridge. Sherlock has all sorts of things lying around he uses for experiments, all of which, we assume, have some sort of importance. But yeah.... there's a head in the fridge.
Moving on. A lot of things culminate in this episode, and we finally get to meet Moriarty, who has been lurking in the shadows of the previous two episodes.
And if you watch The Great Game, the ending will pretty much guarantee you will be watching Season 2.

"I'm not a psychopath, I'm a highly functioning sociopath, do your research!"

S02 E01
A Scandal In Belgravia

.....this epsiode. It requires some SERIOUS editing. Irene Adler is a rather... bold character. And yeah, that's an understatement. There's an entire scene that is much better skipped, and several short sequences as well. Watching an edited version with someone that's seen it before (or, again, if you want my notes...) is a good idea.
However, the raciness aside, it's a very good episode. Perfect balance of wit and brains and humor. There are three cases that float through this episode. And there's actually quite a bit of character depth that wasn't quite reached before. (Sherlock actually makes an apology?!)
There's a lot that makes Belgravia worth a watch. Once is fine. It's not an episode that I feel a great need to watch over and over again. One watch is plenty. You just kinda need to it balance out the following episodes.
Which leads us to Baskerville.

S02 E02
The Hounds of Baskerville

This one is rather the thriller of the season. My least favorite in some respects, my favorite in others.
The thing is, there's quite a lot of comedic relief, which is important since The Reichenbach Fall is the next episode. The great thing about the humor in Sherlock is that it's always, always in character, which is why it's so funny.
Baskerville involves genetic mutations, a gigantic hound, and a guy who's slowly going crazy after his dad was killed 20 years ago. There's quite a bit of screaming and rather intense scenes. However, it's quite worth a watch because of 1) Sherlock showing up at the flat with a harpoon. 2) Him telling someone to shut up and smoke. 3) His mind palace. 4) More character development. 5) Fantastic quotes.
Yeah. I really love and really dislike this episode. Love because there is so much.... Sherlock. And dislike because it's got an overly thrillish edge. Which, I mean, I'm not really objecting, it's just that thrillers aren't my thing. But I would totally watch this episode again.
Plus, the ending segues into.....

"It's going to start very soon Sherlock. The Fall. Because I owe you a Fall."

S02 E03
The Reichenbach Fall

It is very much full of emotions. But I'm a girl. Pardon me.
This is where Moriarty makes his move. He has everything a criminal mastermind could want. Except the ruin of his only rival. And seriously.... he plays the game well. The final showdown between Moriarty and Sherlock is NOT something to be missed.
Reichenbach is really the payoff for watching the first five episodes. It's deep, much deeper than the previous ones. We have developed characters that we are fully familiar with, who are now in a treacherous game laid out by our favorite, chewing-gum loving psychopath villain. (Moriarty, I don't think, stays completely accurate to Doyle's character. However, translated into a different time period, I've gathered that they did a good job.)
Again, a lot of tributes to the original stories instead of translating it directly. Reichenbach is definitely my favorite episode, but not one I would watch all the time simply because the gravity of it. But it's brilliant. Fantastic, and nothing really objectionable, as far as my memory serves me.

But really. Watching Sherlock is worth it for Reichenbach.


General Pro/Con list:

• Fair bit of swearing in each episode
• Smoking/nicotine patches, etc. Though, to be fair the original Sherlock did drugs too. It's not like they added that or anything.
• Some sort of gay reference in probably every single episode. (It's clear that Sherlock and John are not, of course. However, people allude to them being so, on multiple occasions. That would be the topic of the awkward conversation in A Study In Pink; the first time we meet Jim Moriarty in The Great Game, he pretends to be gay in order to make a very forgettable first impression on Sherlock. Irene Adler professes to be at one point, and there's a gay couple in the Baskerville episode.)
Half the references are on the subtler end. The other half, not so much. Very few of these instances are actually important to the story.
This here is just wrong. Season 3 doesn't even start shooting until January.

• The pure brilliance of Sherlock, much thanks to Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch.
• The quite humorous relationships between Sherlock and: Mycroft, John, and Lestrade. (When you've got a friend who's a sociopath....)
• Brilliant casting.
•Good music.
•Good editing
•Fantastic little effects like the way they show text messages. (Just watch it to see what I mean. ^_^)
• The wit.
• The humor. (Seriously, Sherlock is so much funnier than it may appear.) The pure sociopath insanity that Sherlock is....  it's undeniably hysterical at times.
• Martin Freeman as John Watson. Seriously. He's perfect.
• The complete joy of seeing another rendition of England's most celebrated character ever. I would have gone into mourning and attacked Doyle in the street too, if I had been around when he wrote the story that killed Sherlock off.

The brilliant thing about this Sherlock is, in the words of Moffat, they "blow the fog away from him." Meaning we, in a way, get to see the inner workings of his brain, we get to see how his minds works in the moment. His observations are open for us to see, and it's really quite fantastic.

And really, there's just something about Sherlock Holmes. You just can't help but admire, and totally love him. And as far as film/TV reincarnations of him go, I would say BBC's Sherlock will top them all, always. The completely appropriate use of technology, the intriguing and quite complex cases, the aloof but impossibly irresistible Sherlock, a very grounded and down to earth John, a fantastic Mrs. Hudson, a great Lestrade, and unforgettable Moriarty.... they just did a really, really good job. Nothing more to say than that. They did an incredibly good job.

So. Whaddabout you? What do you like most about Sherlock? Biggest dislike? Have you even seen it?

(Hope this was sufficient, Teenage Writer :D)

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Director

Note: The title  does not refer to me, but the position of a director in general. Just to clarify ;)


The Director
They are magicians. Dream-makers, dream-catchers. They spin tales, open wardrobes, show us portals to worlds we never knew of. Worlds we would give our hearts to be a part of. The imagination is their playground. The things we wished could be reality, they make it so. They give us a small inkling of how things ought to be. They show us heroes we can cheer for, villains we can despise, or seek to understand. They take us away from life for a few hours, giving us a place to escape. To put the glimmer back in our eye and make us kings and queens and wizards and warriors for a time.

Or at least, they should.

In this day and age, the director has misused the weapon known as media. The lens they use to weave their tales show us things we ought not to see. The sacredness of physical intimacy in marriage is destroyed and shown as something far less valuable. The horror of violence is flaunted and glorified. Decency has disappeared. The line between lending enough information to tell a story and showing far too much has been crossed, over and over again.

Now the director, the filmmaker, tells lies with a loud voice. And when he is not doing that, he is merely putting on an elaborate show to distract you. Explosions and blood and cursing and skin and twisted humor is nothing but an act to keep you ineffective. What has become of good films, good stories?

The job of the director is to take us to another world, not drown us in the carnality of our own. The tale may take place on our very own Earth, but that should not stop them from showing it beautifully. The job of the director is to tell truth, and tell it well. Is that done?

Francis Schaeffer once said, "Whoever controls the media controls the culture." And he is not the least bit wrong. Media is not a tool to be used lightly. The director ought to tremble as he wields it. For in using it, he tells the audience something. He teaches them. Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing as such we will incur a stricter judgement.

Of course that passage is meant for the one who teaches scripture. But should it not also be held in the forefront of the mind of he who sits behind a camera and shouts, "Action!"?

Yes. Yes, I think it should. Because the director has a weighty job. One that, these days, is rarely done right.

The director should not be someone who uncovers things that should stay covered. Should not be one who flaunts that which is evil. No. The director is a bard, a minstrel, a herald of wondrous tales not yet heard. He ought to be the one who, when he escorts us from our seat into a world of his own creation, we hold no shame for being part of it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hey you guys :) aka 7 Random Things

1. I really am a distracted writer. It turns out, Chesney Street wants to be a feature, and so does The Seed (that's a working title by the way, I already don't like it). Unfortunately, I only have one of them outlined according to action. And it's not Chesney Street. That one will take a bit to complete. I'll post what I have of it... eventually.

2. I have been, at long last, caught up in the wonderful, wonderful world (and fandom) that is BBC's Sherlock. Oh, yes, tremble with fear at my obsession, world. [Again with the unfortunates: I've only seen Season 1, but and watching Season 2 this Sunday and already know more about it than I should due to some seriously well done, and heart-wrenching fanvideos. I've have to release my fangirliness in a massive post one of these days. Look out, my friends, it's coming!]


2.1- Sherlock was actually the first thing I had seen Martin Freeman in, besides The Hobbit trailer ;) He is officially one of my favorite actors. The problem is now, I shall watch The Hobbit trailer and think to myself, "What is Watson doing there?" *headdesk*
Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch is lovely, of course. If there was anyone born to play Sherlock, it is him. He's extremely fantastic. 

3. Skyping with blogger friends is infinitely more delightful than Skyping with people I have already spent considerable time with in person. For one thing, with people I already know well, Skyping seems primitive and distant and a difficult way to communicate, whereas when I've never even seen the other person's face, or heard their voice, it seems like the greatest invention ever :)

4. I'm still not done with my freshman year of high school, and my sophomore year is due to start rather soon. Which means I should probably close the computer and get to work. o_O

5. I promise, there shall be a glorious giveaway once I reach 200 followers. Not that I need anymore, you all are more than I ever could hope for. (As I said to someone recently, I wouldn't give up my 20-so closest followers for 1500 who aren't half as nice.) I just thought it would be a good reason to give stuff to you guys :P

6. Perhaps it is due to... other obsessions *cough*, but I've barely had any time to blog. I try not to make these paltry little posts, but it's all I can manage at the moment. Just know, there are lots of things the Lord has been doing, and lots of fun things I've been up to, and I promise I shall share at least some of it with you sometime soon. 

7. I tried thinking of something funny, or at least relevant, to make the 7th random thing, but I couldn't think of anything. The only things I had were along the lines of Sherlock, and I have a feeling I shouldn't release all my pent-up thoughts and emotions about it yet. :P

So, please, I've splurged about life.... kinda. How about you? How's writing, or reading, or school or life or whatever? Gimme your Seven Random Things. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And it's the first CQC Idea Pool!

Ready for this?

Don't forget, if this goes on and you have an idea as to how to make it more awesome, do not hesitate to speak!!

Alright, first up we have some submissions that some fantastic people need some help with.

Hannah Joy
I need a name for my villainess (is that even a word?). She is a lady in her mid-twenties who was excommunicated by her father on account of marrying the man she loved. Her husband was murdered and she's after the killer--as well as being up against the government (wants the demise of the rich and the uprising of the poor basically). I don't want a weird name--I want a pretty normal name since she's, for the most part, a pretty normal lady. It is actually set in a different world, but it's not fantasy, really. It is basically Industrial Revolution type era, so if we could go off that that'd be awesome. 

I'm looking for three character profiles, one of them is the girl protaginist and the other two, a boy and a girl are the protaginist's best friends. I've already chosen names, but I'd love personalities. But only one of the characters can be sweet.
The protagonist's name is Philadelphia (Dellie) Malbrey, her best friends are Tyler (Ty) Mason and Chloe (Clo) Richardson. Dellie later finds her real name, her elvish name, is Freya Cobalt Galendrof. 

Here's a summary of the story:

After five hundred years of oppression, Azeroth is beginning to wake again, with only one goal. To convert The Gifted; or destroy them.

Dellie has lived her whole life believing she’s just like every other normal teen, only to find one day that she is not normal. She’s not even human.

The Council of AlagaĆ«sia calls them The Gifted, we call them Angels

OK so it's very confusing, basically Dellie finds out that she is a very special elf, and is one of The Gifted, and elf breed that is trained to protect humans. In the end she has to make a decision of her life or her friends, she chooses hers, so her character has to be the typical protagonist in that in the end she is a hero. 

The Director
My next month's screenplay is set in a post-apocalyptic/dystopian-ish time, after a deadly virus has wiped out a lot of the world's population. In a dry, desolate desert, a former killer, a suicidal teenager and a biologist who is trying to develop a cure for the virus have to somehow get along and survive... or join the billions of already dead. 
The title of the script is The Seed.
I just need a little boost in the right direction-- maybe motivators for the characters, or a common goal/destination for them. Anything that strikes your fancy to enhance the story ;) 

Eruantien Nenharma
Basically, I don't know what the MacGuffins (things that the heroes have to get a hold of and the villains also want to) for my fantasy trilogy should be. It was originally three magical stones, but that's been done so many times it's not even funny. So I'm trying to figure out what three things the antagonists and protagonists should be fighting over--some sort of weaponry, scrolls? I just have no idea.

(Basically, she has the same problem I have with Dantere's story: what should the great object of power be, and what should it do? To be honest, anything you have to come up with, no matter how 'silly' or 'stupid' you may think it is, will help. That's what brainstorming is anyway.)

And now ve haf de freebies!

From Hannah Joy: freebie is a title for a book/short story, anything. It caught my attention when I thought of it, but I never really went anywhere with it. So, here it is:

A Town Called Remembrance 

From The Director:
I had a character that was a peregrine falcon in a long-gone story named, in various forms, went from the name Thora, to Reana, and she was my MC's closest companion. Feel free to use her if you'd like. She's protective of her master, and very faithful. Does well in hot, dry climates. ;)

From Reformed Squirrel:
Totally at random, a story title popped into my head. Here's the title:

Then There Were Twenty-Nine 

From Eruantien Nenharma:
Here are some names I came up with but never used...


And from Madison:
A whole handful of snippets to use at will!

•I sat there watching golden dust dancing in a beam of sunlight...

•What was the use of it all? Beauty was worth nothing, it faded and withered like the petals of a rose given time. And fame? Fame was a bubble that swelled with it's own importance till it bursts and was gone. And I could forget happines too, after all it was never truly found, and if found it certainly couldnt be kept....

•Rigelis threw the water in the bucket upwards, and for a second it hung, suspended, in seperate drops, each drop catching the radiance of the sun set, before they fell...

•The only thing slower than Bill's walk was his drawl...

•This whole day had felt like one prison door after another, and now mother's worrisome comment slammed the jail doors shut with an ominous clang...

•The way his hands would glide over the keys-it was almost a caress. It was like watching someone dance with technology....


And there it is folks, the problems and freebies for this month's Idea Pool!

If you have some ideas to help us ailing folk, please do not hesitate to speak up!

And if you find you have a problem of your own, go ahead and take a freebie-- or let us know in the comments!

Have fun people!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I have failed you all.

I promise I shall post the finished "Clerks of Chesney Street," however poor form it is in, sometime this month.

But for now, we'll just move on and let the Idea Pool start tomorrow.

See you there!