Monday, January 27, 2014

Sherlock 3.2

Watson Wedding

I absolutely loved this episode! It showed us the intimate relationship between John, his bride, and Sherlock. Some might not be comfortable with how much the show might skip around, but if you are able to follow it is a full sensory extravaganza. Some of my favorite scenes were Watson's stag night escapades and when the trio were working through some wedding planning - absolutely brilliant! 

Watson with his best mate, Sherlock

This episode was packed to the brim with mystery and intrigue. It goes from wedding planning and funny, to murder and malicious intent. Once again the puzzle pieces are awaiting Sherlock's master manipulation or his power of deduction in order to put them all in place in time to save lives. I loved Sherlock's best man speech, it was pure Sherlock and it was all from the heart which made it so touching. Especially the reveal of 'Watson, party of 3."  As Sherlock mentioned, Watson has humanized Sherlock, has given him the conscious and friendship to give him the focus of life. This is where my theory, that his brother Mycroft, could become his nemesis. After all, if we look to Sherlock as a hero, doesn't every hero need a nemesis?

Sherlock and his best man speech...

What's Next...

Downton Abbey 4.4 & 4.5

There's never seems to be a peaceful minute in Downton lately. If it's not a lady's maid trying to seduce her way into the family, then it's the imminent threat of selling off land that continues to haunt the residents. The disloyalty among the staff is strategically taken care of, we learn of more deceptive behavior. It seems Thomas is up to his old tricks and once Edna's dismissed he brings in someone so he can still have an ear within the Grantham's chambers. While Mr. Branson continues to question whether he belongs there at Downton or not. I believe that Mr. Grantham's generosity with a local farmer may persuade him that he does belong there. Although, he might not feel like the only outsider - the young Rose is seems to always make choices that do not follow the Downton etiquette.


This season, so far, has focused much on Lady Mary. Her tragic loss and now new love interests are creating quite the roller coaster effect for her. Probably the best thing for her as well, keeping busy; she's been busy between the details of running Downton Abbey and the politics that are involved within the house and title. However, she is being stalked by an interested party who proposes marriage to her. A very difficult decision since she still is consumed by memories of her late husband. She fears that she made the wrong choice rejecting him. But, it won't be long until another suitor presents himself. She'll be just fine.

I think Lady Edith will be getting more attention (hopefully). She in unable to reject her feelings or the physical attraction toward the man she hopes to marry, and whom is promising her a future together. He's getting ready to leave for Germany where is is going to divorce his wife who is locked away in an institution (or so we think). He has Edith sign something before he leaves, which I hope doesn't come back at her later. However, the night they spent together is the last she's seen of him in a few months. She even comments to her mother that she has not received any word from him. When she tells her family that she is going into London for work, she is actually going to the doctors. Soon, I believe we will learn of her pregnancy.


Ms. Hughes confronts Edna of her deceptions
Edna's crusade against Mr. Branson has, hopefully, seen it's last day. She took advantage of Tom's vulnerability during the house party, making sure he drank heavily, and then sneaked into his bedroom. Then again, he wasn't the only one taken advantage of sexually that night. I think if Edna had confided in the under-butler, Thomas, I'm sure he would have been much more apt with a plan that would have been more successful. Edna's no match for Ms. Hughes however, and so (let's hope) that Edna has seen the last of Downton Abbey, especially since this is her second failed attempt there.

Mr. & Mrs. Bates
After suffering a brutal rape, Anna continues to deal with her emotions and her fear of Mr. Bates (her husband) finding out, killing the rapist and then loosing her husband to a hanging for murder. She confides in Ms. Bates, who expresses her opinion that she thinks Anna should tell her husband. In the mean time, because of her trauma, she is having difficulty with intimacy and can't seem to let her husband touch her. She thinks she is 'soiled' to him now. However, Mr. Bates over hears Anna talking to Ms. Hughes. He goes to Ms. Hughes to find out what has been troubling his wife and threatening their marriage. Now he knows, he knows that it was Mr. Green, but the women swear it was not him - in order to save his neck, knowing that he would go after him and kill him. But, Mr. Bates reassures his wife that he loves her still and they reconcile their marriage. But, Mr. Bates reassures Ms. Hughes that this is far from being over.

In the kitchen with Ms. Patmore and Daisy
In the kitchen Ms. Patmore and Daisy are helping young Alfred to learn some techniques since he has applied for some prestigious training opportunity. It seems that Ms. Patmore is understanding of Daisy's dilemmas; Aflred has feelings for the other kitchen hand (Ivy), and Ivy isn't interested in Aflred, she has eyes for the other footman Jimmy (who I think is just out for a good time). However, Daisy has developed feelings for Alfred and she's reluctant to see him go. So when Alfred receives the rejection letter Daisy is happy that he will be staying at Downton Abbey - for now. I agree with Ms. Patmore - she mentioned to Daisy that sometimes we stay too long in a one-way love - meaning her feelings aren't being reciprocated.

What's Ahead...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sherlock 3.1

Better Late Than Never

This long awaited season opener was full of Sherlock style, with plenty of mystery and just the bit of laughter that makes you feel like you've just visited with an old friend. Through out the entire episode the longstanding question was played with - just how did Sherlock survive? There were plenty of theories; one of my favorites involved Sherlock crashing through Molly's window and finally greeting her properly - YUM! But, we finally do discover the master execution of the plan LAZARUS that was put into action. 

2 Years in the Making...

So, Dr. John Watson is in the middle of proposing to his lady, when Sherlock cleverly tries to surprise his old friend. At first, it seemed that Dr. Watson was questioning his mental state as he had to take a couple minutes to make sure what he was seeing was really what was in front of him. Once that was determined he lashed out at his friend - hilarious Watson, hilarious! I particularly enjoyed the head-but. Then again, how would you feel if your best friend tortured you with their death for the past two years and then to find out it was all a ruse. John doesn't take the news well and attempts to go back to work as it has been for the past year or so while Sherlock's been gone. Sherlock, as well, tried to get back to what he does best enrolling Molly to be his John during the time. But, soon - It's inevitable - Sherlock and Watson are like to opposing magnets drawn to one another.

Threat Level Raised

Of course in great Sherlock fashion, there was an emanate threat to Parliament; the race was on to solve the mystery, put the puzzle pieces together and save the world! There were two puzzle pieces that didn't seem to fit in this episode. Not a bad thing, after all a mystery wouldn't be a mystery without a little intrigue. The first piece was the question, why was John abducted and threatened? It didn't make sense within the scenario - which Sherlock even mentioned that not life's not clean and perfect, there are bits and pieces that might not make sense. But then they show the end scene with someone, who looked a lot like Mycroft from the back, watching John's rescue... The second piece of the puzzle that left me scratching my head was Sherlock's reaction to Molly's fiance. He obviously recognized and deduced something about him, but it hasn't been revealed yet. She did mention her type was the psychotic or sociopath type (he did have weird shoes). Other than that - I am thoroughly looking forward to this season!

My question after watching this episode - is Sherlock's brother, Mycroft planning on the sinister side? 

Friday, January 17, 2014


The Nut Job

Genre: Animated, Comedy, Adventure
Rated: PG
Duration: 86 minutes

Even though The Nut Job reminded me (a little) of Over the Hedge (2006), it was still entertaining with an enjoyable story line that the whole family can watch and enjoy. This was a movie that my two nieces had been anticipating. Luckily for them, today was an early dismissal from their school and so we made our way to the movie theater for it's opening day. I didn't go in expecting anything fabulous and was pleasantly surprised. If your kids are wanting to see this movie, if you have the means to take your family, then I would definitely recommend going.

Meet the Characters

Surly's Plan - to get his share
and get out...
Will Arnett
Surly voiced by Will Arnett, who seems to be everywhere these days. He gives his voice to this independent vermin. Surly is the 'black sheep of the family' in sorts. Within their little animal community within their section of a part (Oakton) Surly is the outcast. Apparently there is some bad blood there from the past as they seem to have their strong opinions of him. Surly would probably tell you himself that he only cares about himself. The story starts off when Surly sees a city Nut Cart and hones in on it for himself, and his sidekick Buddy.

Lovable and quirky - Surly's best friend
Buddy is the heart of the operation. Even though his friend Surly repeatedly hurts his feelings by saying harsh things, he always is there for his best friend, Surly. Even when plans go bad, very bad, and Surly is exiled from home, he is there for his friend. Buddy might not talk (very much) but he can communicate his feelings. But, don't think that Buddy is Surly's doormat - no way - this is a true friendship, that even the selfish Surly comes to understand and cherish.

Andie - the lady of Oakton
Katherine Heigle
Andie is the conscious of the group. She fights for what is fair and just, she has a moral compass and this helps her toward believing in Surly. You can tell from the beginning of the movie the she wants to give Surly the benefit of the doubt. But when Surly is exiled from the park by their 'Governor' Raccoon, Andie knows that he wasn't given a fair shot and deep down she knows that he has a good heart - she believes in him. Katherine Heigle brings the hard nosed Andie to life giving the squirrel her voice of reason.

Brendan Fraser
"Just don't touch the tail"
Grayson is voiced by Brendan Fraser, who gives this boisterous hero his insane psychosis. Grayson seems to be Oakton's selected hero, this gives the creatures someone to look up to and always elect to go forth and save the day. However, we learn that the one everyone believes to be the hero might be more of an side-sick then the actual hero. But, since Surly does not want anything to do with that title, he lets Grayson take the glory. After a particular run-in with the city rats, Grayson seems to be unhinged even more than before, but still pulls through for the good of the group.

Raccon as Governor of Oakton
Liam Neeson
Raccoon is the leader of the Oakton community. We are introduced to Raccoon while they are taking inventory or stock of their winter supply of food within their huge storing tree. Raccoon informs the community that there isn't enough food. But then again, Raccoon's logic is that in order to control the community (so they'll continue to scavenge and find food) he must keep them on a short leash. After the destruction of their community tree, he exiles Surly. He keeps a close watch over him and once he learns that Surly found the mother load, his plan is to double cross Surly. Liam Neeson gives his unmistakable voice to the villainous Raccoon.

There's More to the Story...

Maya Rudolph
When Surly is exiled, he comes across The Nut Shop and him and his best friend Buddy think they have hit the big load! When they finally make it inside they learn that the shop is just a disguise, that it is more than meets the eye and adds more complexities for them scoring their nuts. The shop houses a couple crooks, the leader King (voiced by Stephen Lang) and his two dimwitted henchmen. Their plan involves tunnels and the bank that is across the street. I don't want to give everything away... but needless to say, craziness ensues. But, one of the henchmen adopted a dog named Precious (voiced by Maya Rudolph) - who is without doubt, hilarious. When Surly acquires Precious' dog whistle, he has a secret weapon in the works. However, Precious doesn't need the whistle to listen to her new friends. In true dog style, Precious is a loyal friend. 

What I really loved about this movie was at the end Surly, in his closing lines, delivered a message that more kids do need to hear. That life isn't about getting everything you want (mine, mine, mine) it's like our society is programmed to think only of ourselves. And this is how Surly starts off, by the end of the movie Surly now wants to help and be involved within the community. The line went something like - being the hero involves caring and sharing for others. It's a wonderful moral to the story that can be shared as a family experience.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Downton Abbey 4.3

 Insidious Intentions

Downton is a buzz with guests and their attendants that are attending a wonderful weekend at the magnificent Downton Abbey. Robert is nearly happy with the prospect of the home being nearly what it was pre-war. Apparently, the affects of the war left everyone with less then what they started with. However, in Grantham fashion, they survive and persevere through their hardships. 
It was interesting to see how the Downton staff interact with the newly arrived attendants. Both downstairs and upstairs have difficulty with the change of modernization of the times. This episode also hurt my soul for one of my favorite characters.


Lady Mary seated for dinner
Lady Mary is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband, Matthew. She's just starting to understand that she needs to pull through this. Now having legal ownership of some of the Downton business, it has given her something to focus on and care for; after all, Downton has always been her home. She connects, reluctantly with a guest over the weekend. He seems charmed with Lady Mary and I doubt we've seen the last of him. 

Mr. Gregson and Lady Edith
Meanwhile, Lady Edith has invited her boyfriend Mr. Gregson. She tried repeatedly to get her father's attentions so that Mr. Gregson could gain some favor with him. Here they are making extravagant plans so that they can be together. This plan includes Gregson to become a German citizen (not a popular notion during the times), to legally divorce his clinically crazy wife, then for the two of them to marry and live happily ever after. Which, I sincerely hope so! I think Lady Edith definitely deserves some happiness, and I truly hope that this all works out for her. Luckily, Mr. Gregson was able to swindle the swindler that was cleaning house at the card table. This was a brilliant move on his part because he was able to regain Mr. Crawley's debt and get him off the hook. Now, Mr. Grantham (Robert, head of household) is in favor of Mr. Gregson, since he saved his behind.

My heart did somersaults for Ms. Crawley, widower and now she is also deeply grieving the loss of her son. Firstly, because I can relate to her heartache. Secondly, because during the dinner you could feel the strain that she was feeling. You know, when your so upset but you can't express or show it; that lump forms in your throat that feels like someone is strangling you. I just felt for her - and thought more of Mr. Branson for showing some form of comfort toward her, and validating the difficulty she was experiencing.

Mr. Branson consoling Ms. Crawley

Mr. Branson himself was having a difficult time during the weekend activities. He was having difficulty articulating himself with the guests. It was evident that he felt completely out of place, even though he certainly was not out of place. I think Tom does a wonderful job helping with the land and connecting the Mr. Crawley (Robert) to the modern ways and connecting with the people that depend on Downton as well, within the town. I truly hope he doesn't cut-out. Although, on a side note. I do not like the new lady's maid Edna. I feel like she is trying to sink her talons into Tom with ulterior motives.


Because of the weekend activities and guests, everyone is busy preparing for the Grantham grande style. While Anna is very understanding to Ms. Hughes requests, the newest addition, Edna, sort of is snide about Ms. Hughes requests to pitch in. While Mr. Carson is a stickler for tradition, this ends up biting him in the rear when it comes down to it. The house has an important guest, a well known singer that has performed for the Queen herself. When Mr. Carson suggests to Mr. Grantham that the singer should eat in her room and not with the other guests, Mrs. Grantham outright scolds her husband in front of the company, which then ends with Mr. Grantham scolding Mr. Carson. In the end, the singer dines in the Upstairs fashion.

As Ms. Patmore nearly has a heart attack with her duties in the kitchen, again Alfred jumps in to help the dear Ms. Patmore recover. Meanwhile, Daisy seems to have things well under control and probably could run the entire kitchen if she so chose to do so. Alfred later discusses with Ms. Patmore his desire to become a cook. 

Anna trying politely to evade her attacker...
The Grantham's have given their staff the privileged of joining the rest of the house in listening to their musical guest. Although, through the weekend Mr. Bates has expressed his distaste for one of the attendants, that seemed to be keen on his wife, Anna. I thought, at the time, that it was just a little jealousy from her husband. But, something kept eating away at Mr. Bates and with just cause. During the concert, Anna tells John that she has a headache and she goes down to the kitchen in order to take something to tend to her pain. While there the attendant corners her and it quickly escalates - in a horrific fashion. It still turns my stomach thinking about how he beat and hurt Anna. She then turns to Ms. Hughes for help and when her husband notices her obvious injuries, she seems to push him away, in fear that he would return to prison if he found out - because he would surely kill the man that did this to his lovely wife.  What made me want to reach through the television and take the attendant that did this to Anna by the balls and rip them out barehanded, was when he was saying his goodbye's to the Bates' and thanked them - sick bastard.

What's Next...


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Downton Abbey 4.1 - 4.2


Season four begins approximately six months after the tragic accident, killing Lady Mary's husband, Matthew. Lady Mary is still in mourning, clad in her frocks of black. Understandable at it is, there are those rallying around Lady Mary that want to see her happy again... and they seem to have a plan!
Sir Robert, Lady Mary's father has different plans, naturally. He feels that he should protect for his eldest daughter. He treads lightly around her and nearly bullying anyone that means to challenge Lady Mary to experience happiness, or a sense of worth, again. He seems content to have the reins back that control Downton's future and prospects.


Lady Cora is faced with discerning news of her grandchildren's nanny. Firstly, reported through the manipulative downstairs employee, Thomas. However, Lady Cora follows the cries of one of her grandchildren after hearing from Thomas that Nanny West leaves the children unattended. She witnesses Nanny West coddling Lady Mary's baby, but soon turns sinister as the nanny discussed how Lady Mary's baby is of heritage and is practically an angel in her eyes. Meanwhile, the deceased Lady Cibel's and Sir Tom's baby is crying in his crib and Nanny West, hatefully tells him to lay down - and continues to speak unforgivably toward the young master. Cora immediately interrupts the scene, calling for help and heroically dismisses Nanny West from her duties. 

Lady Edith meets with her love interest, Michael Gregson, her editor; whom is technically still married. However, he divulges his plan to divorce his lunatic wife, but doing so means becoming a German citizen. Post WWII, German's are not the most loved of peoples. Lady Edith expresses her concerns but is touched that Michael loves her and is willing to do this to be with her. I am SO happy that Lady Edith is finally happy. The last few seasons I have felt so sad for her circumstances. I truly - truly hope that this relationship will only produce happiness and joy for her.

In other news, Sir Tom enlists the help of Lady Mary, through further prompts from her grandmother the Dowager, to consider taking her late husbands role in running Downton Abbey. She seems reluctant at first, but once a letter surfaces from Matthew, she rises to the occasion with all the grace and poise that Lady Mary always exhibits (minus the dead body of a passionate nights affair from the first season). Through the masterful mind of the Dowager, she consorts that Sir Tom teach Lady Mary the ropes, knowing her son and how he would try to keep the reins by embarrassing his daughter in the process. However, Lady Marry triumphs and I hope it is something that she continues to do.

Lady Rose is the young rebel within Downton and is able to convince a downstairs, well respected, lead housemaid to go with her to a party outside of town. She dances with a young gentlemen, sparks are flying like fireworks. However, there is a drunken fight the ensues and the ladies have to flee. The gentleman that was interested in Lady Rose shows up at the back door of Downton. Lady Rose had told the young gent that she was a maid at the grande home. She greets him as a maid and lets him down gently... I don't think it's quite exciting enough to temp Lady Rose though.


Sneaky plots are already afoot within the downstairs staff. Poor Mr. Molesley is struggling to find work within his training. After a foiled attempt to impress a Lady to gain favor and possible employment, he is reduced to work in the streets. However, the caring power couple, the Bates, soon come to his aide. As Mr. John Bates forges his signature in an attempt to claim that he is repaying a debt to the prideful Mr. Molesley. While it is dishonest, you still want to be happy that Mr. Bates was able to pull it off.

Meanwhile, there is a new lady's maid that Lady Cora hired, Edna. She had previously been an employee at Downton and was dismissed after her lewd behavior. Through the protest of Ms. Hughes, Lady Cora still agrees to keep Edna on to replace her old maid. But, Edna quickly picks up the trickery that the old maid and Thomas use to produce. When Edna ruins a well beloved garment of the Countess's, Thomas quickly creates the plan to thwart his old enemy, Mr. Bates... which they target instead the honorable and good Mrs. Bates, Anna. I'm sure this will snow ball as the season continues.

The love triangle within the downstairs staff include the oblivious Ivy, and the two footmen, Jimmy and Alfred. Meanwhile, there is poor Daisy. I truly hope that Daisy finds romance and is loved by a deserving man, she deserves it. But, her and Ms. Patmore discuss the inevitable love triangle - and I believe Ms. Patmore has some tricks up her sleeves that will be revealed through the season as well.