Rapid Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

the imitation game poster

“Advise about keeping secrets: it’s a lot easier if you don’t know them in the first place.”
– Alan Turing

SYNOPSIS: Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. – via IMDB

the imitation game

GRADE 7Finally got around to seeing this, and I must admit that I did enjoy it. I was looking forward to it not only for Cumberbatch (though yes, big draw) but because I have covered Turing and some of his work for my studies, and I find it fascinating. So a movie on the man? To find out more? I was sold. The Imitation Game had a great cast working for it, and I enjoyed what they all brought to the screen. I did not want to throttle Keira Knightley, which was a really weird experience for me. Cumberbatch, obviously, stole the whole show here, and presented Alan Turing in a wonderful manner. He made you laugh, he made you feel sorry for him, and he never lost you along the way. His interactions with Charles Dance were simply too amusing for words. I was happy to see Allen Leech in here, too, and Matthew Goode was more entertaining than I can explain – his character Hugh Alexander definitely did not get along with Turing at all. Watching Turing’s whole team was a treat, from the exasperation, frustration, and finally admiration, the journey is quite a sweet one. Turing’s story is fascinating, and Morten Tyldum did a good job of conveying it to the audience without necessarily losing you along the way, but he certainly brought nothing fresh or new to the table, which was also quite disappointing from time to time. It is very formulaic at times, but that doesn’t necessarily cripple the movie. Sometimes there was also an issue of things happening in a totally nonsensical manner, but we were expected to buy into it because that was how they had to tell the story. I suppose there isn’t really time to flesh it all out perfectly, but occasionally discoveries and actions just felt forced. The Imitation Game obviously focused on WWII and the machine that decoded the Nazi Enigma code, as well as the code-breakers that worked incessantly and fruitlessly on it for so long, but did not necessarily explore more of Turing’s work. Also, do not go into this thinking you are going to get the average war movie, you will be sorely disappointed. This movie is about Turing, his work, and parts of his life. This didn’t thrill me as I was hoping it would, seeing how it has been pretty much universally loved. While not a perfect movie, it is engaging and well presented, and deserves a look, at least once, even if just to get more people familiar with Turing.

Banshee: Season 3 (2015)

banshee season 3 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The fight between Burton and Nola. Like holy crapsticks. I mean really now, I can’t even begin to explain to you how intense that was. It was one of the best fights I have watched in a long time, and the entertainment value was through the roof.
  • The Redbone gang aspect of all of this. It has become the defining and entertaining thing about this season, which is crazy considering it was a random little episode to bring the characters to the fore, and then they take up such a large chunk of the story arc. It works, though.
  • Kurt Bunker. Initially when I saw him sitting on the steps at the Cadi, I was sure he was coming to give Hood some lip about investigating the murder of that Neo-Nazi prick that was involved in Emmett’s slaying. Instead he got up, opened his mouth, and impressed the hell out of Hood and me. He seems to be a pretty damn cool character, and I hope he doesn’t turn out to be a right wanker at some stage. He is badass, and I liked the layered aspect they brought in with a tortured ex-Neo-Nazi. Well played, show, well played.
  • This would not be a Banshee review if I didn’t gush about Matthew Rauch’s Clay Burton. Obviously it has to be done, and obviously this is the place. While not used the most consistently in this season, he was definitely used far more than ever before, and there was so much bang to all his scenes. I was so happy to see more about him, his past, his way of thinking… yes. SOLD. Every episode needs to feature his suits, glasses, bowties, creepy deadpan looks… yes. I have a favourite. Shoot me.
  • So much more more origin story – for Job meeting Hood, for Proctor and Burton, about Sugar… I love it. It is awesome to learn so much more stuff.
  • The whole Bunker-is-a-Nazi-police-officer bit. I loved it. I thought it was excellent, and they worked it so damn well, and it didn’t get old. Plus the friendship developing between him and Brock is great.
  • Speaking of Brock, Matt Servitto grew one impressive as hell beard and got all badass and crazy, his rigid lines blurring a bit more and how he is starting to handle Hood.
  • Hood, Sugar, Job, and Carrie hitting down the wrong dude (Stowe) altogether for money. That situation got pretty hairy – just the way we like it, of course.
  • The return of Kai Proctor. I was starting to wonder if they had really softened our badass ex-Amish mobster up. While that arc was interesting, I am glad it didn’t go on too long. Plus his return was just the thing we so desperately wanted to see.
  • Gordon going all hardcore to look after Deva, and the meltdowns he was having about where, exactly, he fit in. I really love this guy, definitely awesome.

banshee crazy stuff

What I didn’t like:

  • Rebecca’s character is so inconsistent. Sometimes she is the evil bitch, otherwise the crying girl, and the show doesn’t seem to take her character anywhere anymore.
  • The plot section with Brock’s ex-wife Emily coming into the picture, and the relationship that came out of absolutely nowhere with Kai. Granted, I know his mother was dying and Emily showed kindness, but this was just random and ridiculous.
  • The cross-cutting again. Not nearly as bad as last season, and they seem to have mastered which scenes to splice together. But still. Uncalled for. Except the last episode, it was done exceptionally well there.
  • I would love to point out that I have complained about Hood getting into monstrous fights and showing no signs of it in the next episode, set a few days later, but when some little protector peanut broke his wrist in a fight in the middle of season two, he is still waltzing around with that bandage on his wrist. Granted, most likely a real problem, but still! It’s inconsistent.
  • Deva. She is really starting to get on my last nerve… like mother, like daughter I suppose.
  • How things ended with Gordon. Goddammit, really?! Was that necessary?! WHY?! On the other hand, it was done phenomenally and I really liked it, crushing as it was.

banshee season 3 truck hanger

Rating:
GRADE 8.5
Yes. Yes. Yes. This… this is what I have been hoping for since season one. Carrie was not the main peanut in Hood’s life, and that worked well. His perfect little setup and world is starting to come apart at the seams. There are some major repercussions coming in from last season, and Kai and Hood are both taking off their gloves. Dangerous times. Not only that, Burton got to really shine this season, and you all know how that was bound to thrill me. There was just so much going on in season three, so much great stuff, so much nerve-wracking stuff, so much intensity. Let me tell you, this season went a mile a minute and it was so worth it. I was itching for a new episode every week (my OCD almost died when I figured out we had started the season and it wasn’t finished airing yet – I just can’t do the wait thing, it freaking hurts) and it was worth the wait. This was awesome. Banshee really is one of those shows, the creators/producers must listen to the people, because gripes are being addressed, things are being tightened up (plot, characters, etc) and it is just flowing more. I didn’t find season one overly engaging but I enjoyed it, and season two was better, but this one was the one. The one that had me howling, the one that had me hooked. It was over. This season just did that. We still don’t know who Hood really is, but there is this super cool story arc that they have introduced, with unknown people and entities and agencies, something that could potentially really change everything we have seen as well as answer some insane questions that have been bugging me and floating around. There was so much energy to this season, and the implementation was gripping and tight. I really love the potential that Dalton’s character might unleash here, what with the even more questionable past of Lucas Hood, the blank slate conundrum, the finding a place in life… oh the places this show could possibly take us are endless, and I cannot wait! Season three held back absolutely no punches in terms of shocks, deaths, pains, twists, and they all came together so well. For only ten episodes, it feels like so much more has happened, it was so action-packed. The effects have vastly improved, and the choreography and action scenes are more gripping than before. Then let’s talk about the inclusion of Tom Pelphrey as Kurt Bunker. I mean wow. We got a mesmerizing character from the outset, and he comes with some serious baggage. Majorly, and it opens up to another section of characters that could get exceptionally interesting. Not only is Bunker an ex-Nazi, he was incredibly respected, and his flesh-and-blood brother is pretty much running the Brotherhood in Banshee. I am sure we can all see how this could become a major issue. I am at the edge of my seat and I am so upset about having to wait for season four :/ I don’t know if I can wait that long, I am having some major Banshee withdrawals…

banshee season 3 siobhan murder