Don’t be a stranger

Hi Panda Lovers
My new home is going great guns and would love to see you there.
You can get your fill of TV, FILM, OP ED PIECES, and BRISBANE AUSTRALIA FOCUSED PIECES.

Some of the popular tv shows I review are:
SMALLVILLE, VAMPIRE DIARIES, NIKITA, THE WALKING DEAD, CAPRICA, FRINGE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, MAD MEN, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, HAWAII FIVE-0, COMMUNITY and many more.

Some come visit.

You can also follow me on Twitter where I link my new articles where I talk back to my followers and love to hear your feedback.


HowManyPandas is Mirgrating

I was feeling like this earlier - but click on the pink panda packing heat to visit my new site.

Yes – we are going official – to howmanypandas.com
Give me a little time to work it all out – but I have a few reviews ready to go… once I work out how to do it.
Das Panda
PS. Is pretty much done now, but I need to retag and recategorise everything. Also for some reason I can’t get my twitter feed up. No problem. You will need to change your RSS to my new site. So please don’t forget.
XOXO
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Review – Easy A

Hi there, I'm Olive and you all think I am a dirty skank.

After getting badly burnt by the Hangover, I was hesitant to journey into Easy A, but some friends who saw it at the movies (whose opinions I mostly agree with) told me that this was a surprisingly good film. And you know what? They were right.

Olive, through the medium of a webcast, decides to set the record straight of her decent into wantoness. Done in amusing chapters, she retells how one lie becomes another and another while trying to help people and the next thing you know you are getting paid for sex via a gift card in the carpark of a restuarant with a guy who you thought liked you.

Pluses:
Great script – the dialogue is very good – yes it suprised me too.
Cute idea well implemented.
Just enough Penn Badgley for him not to be annoying.
Great hat tips to the movies I grew up on.
The twists and turns and the lie upon lie.
The family scenes – hysterical. Made me wish I had a family like that – though as a teenager I would have been horrorified for thinking my family could be cool.
Ah Christians you crack me up – this was so stereotypical it was all I could do not to be outraged at myself for laughing.

Minuses:
Aly Michalka’s portrayal of Rhiannon – probably the weakest character.

This film takes a dark story and retells it with sarcasm, wit and a wry sense of humour. Emma Stone’s Olive was perfect. She captured the sense of the moment and the character. Her throwaway lines were the ones you always wished you had thout of. Easy A is actually something that I would want to watch again on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

#fourpandas
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Review – Shrek Forever After

Bloated and unfunny - the cat or the movie or both?

The movie that should never have been made.

Shrek, feeling the strains of fatherhood wants his own life back and gets conned by Rumpelstiltskin. He then spends the rest of the movie trying to get his old life back. When he does, he realises how blessed he was all along.

Excuse me while I am noisily sick into this conveniently located barf bag.

Pluses:
Donkey was still amusing.

Minuses:
Fiona is happier not empowered.
The quality of the animation.
The script.
The story.
Oh god, everything else.

I must admit I only kept watching for Donkey. He is my favourite character from the franchise after all. After the dismal showing of Shrek 4 I decided to dig out Shrek on my iTunes drive and watch it again. The first thing that struck me was the attention to detail and the crispness of the animation – something that was surely lacking in this forth instalment. I guess all the cash was spent on getting the stars to sign back on to such a woeful script. Actually it was beyond woeful. All the charm of the original was gone – not that I was that surprised considering how bad the third one was.

#oneandahalfpandas

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Review – Caprica – The DirtEaters

caprica dirteaters avenging angels

What all the cool New Cap City players are wearing.

This week:
The idea of ethnicity is re-explored through flash backs and choices by the Adama family. Daniel makes yet another deal with the devil. The Avenging Angels are the latest fad.

Pluses:
The idea that honest work like farming could be so distasteful to others.
One’s own choosing to return to the soil.
Sam and Joseph’s journey as children.
Daniel being even more devious.
Everyone has their own agenda.

Minuses:
I still lack empathy for Amanda.
That stupid editing between V-World and Caprica.
Tamara and Zoe aren’t strong enough actors to pull of their current story lines.

This was an incredibly strong character driven episode. It is a shame that just as this series/season found its feet, they were removed out from under. I write this having seen The Heavens Will Rise, and I found this episode a perfect counterpoint for the next step.

#threeandahalfpandas

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Review – GasLand

Depressing in its telling but motivating in what it leaves in you.

I missed this doco during BIFF – it was clashing with something and opted against this controversial journey documented by Josh Fox.

Often in docos I am more interested in the motivators (of the documenter and the documented) than the story they actually tell. This was one of those docos for me. Fox owns a property in Pensilvania and had received an offer for drilling rights on his property. He decided to find out what the outcomes might be if he signed – what he found he didn’t like, and documented his voyage of discovery.

It is worth nothing that this piece is entirely from the side of Fox and those opposed the drilling. As such, often the editing is extremely unflattering and detrimental to the gas companies. There is certainly a problem but it was the motivation of the companies involved and the power of their money and as a consequence, their reach, that I found incredibly depressing. I am certainly concerned that there can be such negative impacts on millions for the benefit of some – and that rings true for what recently occured in Queensland, where high levels of carcinogenic chemicals were reported in water around the coal seam gas exploration sites. Just yesterday, Farmers on the Darling Downs locked out exploration teams. From what I have read, it is a slightly different process to the US, but the drive of shareholder returns > all it seems these days. (Oh I am starting to sound like a Socialist Panda). In truth, I don’t trust the government or “the corporations.”

Pluses:
It is a personal journey.
The style – often it costs a lot to have production look that rough – this felt authentic.
The people Fox meets – often their abiding sense of humour.
The frustrations people feel and the clear lines in government.

Minuses:
Too one-sided for me to really love this doco.
When it went from journey to preaching/activist it lost it power for me.

This is a long doco, that I found dragging. The same over and over – but then that is the point he is trying to make. That being said, I wouldn’t be revisiting this show again any time soon. If it does anything well, it makes the audience want to understand more.

#twoandahalfpandas

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Review – Stargate Universe – Visitation

Dear Santa. I would like a pony, a puppy, oh and not to die alone.

This week:
What a left behind has returned. Hope is dashed. Love makes hard decisions and a wish is made reality.

Pluses:
The nice little twist at the end.
The “something missing” effect.
Greer’s farewell to Chloe.

Minuses:
What happened last week seems to be forgotten.
A glimmer of hope once again smashed by the show (including buy in by audience of TJ’s baby)
Unnecessary pain and suffering.

For the love of pete, please do something with your minor characters. Volker is begging for a real story – he is probably the most interesting of the minor players and what I have seen of Patrick Gilmore’s acting here and in Riese, he could deliver something really strong, funny, interesting – anything! Or how about some more Vanessa James- I would even take more Brody (and yes while Kelamis is an Aussie – I don’t think his character is as interesting as Gilmore’s). We were going somewhere with James and then the wheels just fell off. The main characters are decidedly boring with only Greer and Eli still really engaging. Please!!!

#twopandas

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Review – The Walking Dead – Vatos

Beauty and a moment of normality in a post apocalyptic world

This week:
Life returns to normal – as much as it can under the stress and duress of the zombie apocalypse, but the pressure does show. The boys are not alone in Atlanta. Behind darkness there can be light. Merle has disappeared with something very dear to our heroes’ hearts. Nowhere and nothing is safe.

Pluses:
The disparity between those perfect moments and reality – that eternal attempt to stay human (literally and metaphorically speaking).
Andrea and Amy.
My mind coming up with a stack of hypotheses while watching.
Moments of tenderness and hope.
The sense of loss.
So strongly character driven.
So simple yet so brilliant.
The development of Jim and Shane.

Minuses:
Losing characters I was just starting to love.
I think it was Merle who bought those Walkers to camp (I hope I am wrong).

I wouldn’t want to be signing on to that show – chances are you will die within a couple of episodes. I can’t express just how poetic this episode was – exploring the themes of humanity and family counterposed against the raw savagery of the Walkers.. From the colours to the light to the shot style, everything reflected the disparities. It was all I could do not to cry in the office – I watched this episode over lunch on my MBP.

My only concern is that it will develop into the depressing and hopeless (feeling) of SGU – however I understand the source material is strong, so fingers crossed this will not be the case.

#fourandahalfpandas

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Review – Hawaii Five-O – Mana'o

Nice role reversal

This week:
Danno’s old partner is murdered and disposed of in the most delicious way. Sierra from Dollhouse has a new mission. Danno is determined to prove his innocence. Cross and double cross. Old enemies become allies. They solve the case. Garrett says Book him, Danno. Some cheesy American stuff.

Pluses:
Is always good to see Dichen Lachman in a role.
Nice shift away from the normal case scenario.
Nice backstory for Danno.
Buddy cop development.
Most creative interrogation method I have ever seen on teev.

Minuses:
Kono still very much a “support” vs the major kick butt player she was in the pilot.
No shonky policework – except that play ground visit.
is like every major crime syndicate in the world putting down roots in Hawaii?
Obvious twist.
What was with the Bing plug?

I must admit, I am getting a little tired of the first part of each show. Random people doing something random and most likely a touristy appropriate past time in Hawaii then BAM dead body or murder… could be Bones, NCIS, Law and Order, Castle etc… This week’s episode name – Mana’o – means to have faith, confidence, to believe – which is very apt considering noone but Danno believes in his friend’s innocence. Another enjoyable romp that suspends any need for thought.

#threepandas


Review – Hawaii Five-O – Mana’o

Nice role reversal

This week:
Danno’s old partner is murdered and disposed of in the most delicious way. Sierra from Dollhouse has a new mission. Danno is determined to prove his innocence. Cross and double cross. Old enemies become allies. They solve the case. Garrett says Book him, Danno. Some cheesy American stuff.

Pluses:
Is always good to see Dichen Lachman in a role.
Nice shift away from the normal case scenario.
Nice backstory for Danno.
Buddy cop development.
Most creative interrogation method I have ever seen on teev.

Minuses:
Kono still very much a “support” vs the major kick butt player she was in the pilot.
No shonky policework – except that play ground visit.
is like every major crime syndicate in the world putting down roots in Hawaii?
Obvious twist.
What was with the Bing plug?

I must admit, I am getting a little tired of the first part of each show. Random people doing something random and most likely a touristy appropriate past time in Hawaii then BAM dead body or murder… could be Bones, NCIS, Law and Order, Castle etc… This week’s episode name – Mana’o – means to have faith, confidence, to believe – which is very apt considering noone but Danno believes in his friend’s innocence. Another enjoyable romp that suspends any need for thought.

#threepandas


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