Tag Archives: Kevin Durand

Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 7

Richard_Sammel_David_Bradley_The_Strain_Episode_7.jpgMaybe it makes no sense that no one notices when Eph and Nora pull out guns on a crowded subway platform and it’s one heck of a coincidence that a train just happens to speed through the station without stopping just in time for Eichorst to escape, but who cares? At this point, the The Strain’s entertainment value has far surpassed its logical issues.

Some of The Strain’s strongest material comes in ‘Night Zero’ due to the inherent thrill of first learning about the impending doom, just like in any disaster/apocalypse movie.  ‘Occultation’ just teased what will happen when more of the world comes face-to-face with the virus on a citywide level, but the opening of episode 7, ‘For Services Rendered,’ takes a more intimate approach.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 6

The_Strain_Episode_6Remember everything I complained about last week on The Strain? Episode 6, ‘Occultation,’ gets it all right. There’s a good deal of strong action and gore, but what gives this episode so much momentum are the heated, engrossing conversations paired with a powerful foreboding tone.

The idea of an occultation is just genius. The writers easily could have jumped right into the vampire takeover, but instead, they up the suspense tenfold by essentially teasing the death and devastation to come. And not only does this buildup make the idea of the plague feel fresh and like an even greater threat, but it also gives us time to see our main characters react, further developing them in the process.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 5

The_Strain_Episode_5_Kevin_DurandThe Strain has had ups and downs in every single episode since the very first, but the show’s been working because, typically, the good outweighs the bad by a lot. Not in ‘Runaways,’ though.

The sole winner this time around is Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet primarily because he’s one of the only people to do something in this episode that significantly pushes the narrative forward, but also because he’s such a captivating character. No matter what Vasiliy says or does, he’s an interesting guy to watch.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 4

corey-stoll-mia-maestro-the-strain-epsiode-4As expected, things are really picking up. Rather than have Eph, Nora and Jim continue to search for answers while being completely oblivious to what’s really going on, episode 4 of The Strain, ‘It’s Not for Everyone,’ hurls them right into the reality of the situation and it serves all three characters exceptionally well.

First off, it’s incredibly satisfying that ‘It’s Not for Everyone’ picks up right where ‘Gone Smooth’ left off. Many shows would have just cut to the gross-out-heavy autopsy scene, assuming that the break between episodes would keep us from wondering how the trio dealt with the shock and Redfern’s body.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 3

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The Strain started strong with “Night Zero,” slowed a bit during “The Box,” but began building characters and storylines in the process, and now “Gone Smoother” continues that progression. It still doesn’t have the momentum of the first episode, but the pace is picking up and we’re getting some solid plot and character development along with it.

First off, hooray for Mia Maestro finally getting something to do! “Gone Smoother” merely introduces a connection between Nora and Abraham Setrakian, but at least it finally pulls her out of Ephraim’s shadow and proves she’s got some ideas of her own as well as the gall to act on them. It could be great to see her, of all people, step up and take Abraham’s advice – “Being good means nothing, unless you’re willing to do what needs to be done.” Eph’s been leading the charge thus far, but if she takes the reins on this one, it could be one heck of a turnaround for the character.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 2

Mia-Maestro-Corey-Stoll-The-Strain-Episode-2The second episode of The Strain doesn’t come anywhere close to matching the thrill of the plane investigation or the massacre at the morgue in the first, but it does function as a solid and very necessary character and world-building episode. “Night Zero” benefited from the novelty of the inciting incident, but now that that’s done, it’s got to beef up both the main players and the core story to ensure the longevity of the show, and that’s exactly what “The Box” does.

Ephraim gets a nice balance this episode. Roughly half of the time he’s discovering new things pertaining to the case, but then the other half, he’s with his family, just being an average person. “Night Zero” laid out the basics of Ephraim’s situation with his wife and son, but “The Box” digs a little deeper, and not just in terms of blurting out new details on their predicament, but rather by letting them behave like normal people.

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Review: The Strain, Season 1, Episode 1

corey-stoll-the-strain-epsiode-1When you’re plastering posters of a worm digging its way into an eyeball all over the place, you better earn that eerie imagery and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain absolutely does.

There’s a small handful of clichéd characters spitting out tacky dialogue like “This is bad, real bad,” but for the most part, the show’s first episode, ‘Night Zero,’ is brimming with solid scares, remarkably detailed visuals and a highly intriguing scenario to back it all up.

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Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

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“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” might reduce plans for the sequel to ashes.

Clary (Lily Collins) is your average girl, living in New York City, hanging out with her best friend, Simon (Robert Sheehan). While at a club, Clary catches a glimpse of a ruthless murder. Trouble is, nobody else sees it. When she’s approached by the murderer the very next day, she knows something’s up and, sure enough, right in the middle of their conversation, she gets a frantic phone call from her mother (Lena Headey) just before she’s taken.

Turns out, Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), is actually a Shadowhunter, a human born with angelic blood tasked with dispatching demons, and that is exactly what he was doing at the club. But no one was supposed to be able to see him – unless they had Shadowhunter blood. If Clary’s going to get her mother back, she’s got no choice, but to team up with Jace, trace her newfound Shadowhunter roots, and figure why and where her mother has been taken.

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Review: Resident Evil: Retribution

Quality-wise, the “Resident Evil” franchise has been on the decline ever since the first film arrived back in 2002, but, let’s face it, was the series ever really about quality? “Resident Evil” is for action, monsters and Alice, and while the first four films of the franchise held on, they certainly started to slip, leaning far more on the excuse of stemming from a videogame than making the leaps necessary to turn a videogame into an enthralling moviegoing experience. But at least the first four films tried. “Retribution” abandons storytelling entirely for lame CGI and a desperate attempt at bringing franchise favorites together.

Alice (Milla Jovovich) is back – yet again. She escaped the Umbrella research facility, made it out of Raccoon City, came face to face with countless clones of herself and rescued her friends from a prison overrun with zombies, but her story isn’t over yet. “Resident Evil: Retribution” kicks off after Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and her Umbrella troops devastate the tanker Alice claims for survivors at the end of “Afterlife.” Alice wakes up in an underground Umbrella research facility where she’s interrogated by Jill, blasted with a mind-numbing sound, interrogated by Jill, and deafened yet again until the lights go out, a magic draw reveals typical Alice attire and the cell door opens.

On her way out, Alice bumps into Ada Wong (Bingbing Li) who informs her that she’s here to help and that there’s also a strike team on the way. While Alice and Ada try to go from the bottom up, Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), Luther West (Boris Kodjoe) and a couple more are on their way down, hoping to rendezvous with the ladies and make their way back to the surface together.

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Review: Real Steel

This is a movie about futuristic robot boxing that’s eager to please the widest audience possible. As long as you don’t walk into Real Steel with your fingers crossed for something that feels as real and gritty as, let’s say The Fighter or Warrior, it’s impossible not to enjoy it.

Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) is a former boxer turned robot fighter. In the near future, when human boxing isn’t brutal enough for spectators, the sport displaces those fighters with massive and ruthless robots, offering unrelenting destruction. When Charlie’s ex passes away, leaving their son, Max (Dakota Goyo), homeless, Charlie takes advantage of his aunt’s (Hope Davis) desperation to adopt him and gets her wealthy husband (James Rebhorn) to give him a hefty chunk of cash in exchange for Max. The only catch is that Charlie has to keep an eye on Max himself until they return from a European excursion at the end of the summer.

Charlie uses the money to buy a new robot, Noisy Boy, but his desperation to make the big bucks causes him to make a hasty decision that results in Noisy Boy’s destruction. With no money, Charlie has no choice but to visit a scrap yard to find the parts to build a new fighter. However, while there, Max spots something better, Atom. Atom’s an old sparring bot, making him far less capable in the ring, but Max insists that together, they can turn him into a champion.

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