Television and opinions

The nonsense I’ve been catching up on (Oculus, 49 Days)

(WORDPRESS DELETED THE 49 DAYS SECTION OF MY POST AND NOW I HAVE TO REWRITE THE WHOLE THING FTS)

A while ago I did a post on this HK horror film called Rigor Mortis (link), in which I mentioned that there was a period of time in my life where horror films were pretty much my thing.  I was watching a whole bunch of them before I was introduced to this movie miracle called The Godfather where I learnt that movies were so much more than just getting the crap scared out of you. Still, when writing a blog about old dramas and Oscar films, I do sometimes feel that I need a break from all that emotionally intense, heavily dramatic material. And by that, I mean that I’ve been visiting some no-brainer, purely stupid and fun movies/tv dramas just to give my brain a break. Of course, pretentious people would say that these movies are not worthy of their “appreciation”, but I do believe that watching brainless films are a major part of the movie viewing experience as well (well, mainly the fun part)!

So without further ado, allow me to introduce to you some of the nonsense I’ve been treating my brain to:

1) Oculus (2014)

I’m not lying when I say that I’ve become quite immune to horror movies nowadays. Ok fine, I will jump at the jump scares (EVEN when I know it’s coming dammit), and some of the suspenseful scenes do make my heart beat faster, but when the whole thing ends they don’t leave me sleepless at night or afraid of visiting the washroom by myself. By now, I feel like I’m beginning to see through all the shtick that horror film-makers (not just US horror films, but Asian ones as well) are trying to over exploit in their movies – possessing every goddamn object possible (mirrors, shoes, wigs, scissors, mannequins, cellos, dolls, pianos), long hair ghouls (“Yurei”) contorting their body into every possible angle that puts the greatest contortionist to shame, an explosion of blood, gore, maggots, goo and slime, the typical “someone walking behind you” trick blablabla… I’m sorry, but this inherent awareness on my part that all this is nothing more than clear manipulation on the director’s part to gross me out and make me scream really makes me roll my eyes at such scares, especially if they are poorly executed. Sure, it scares me while I’m in the moment, but beyond that it doesn’t last. It’s like while I’m in a haunted house – the fact that I’m aware the chainsaw guy chasing me down the alley is a paid actor results in the whole experience being nothing more than cheap thrills. 

It also doesn’t help that most horror films suffer from absymal writing – the stories are often lacking in credibility and convoluted, making the whole thing silly instead of frightening. I mean the whole thing about photos in Sinister (Oscar-nominee Ethan Hawke, why!?!?) was such a lame attempt at making me afraid of pictures, while Mama’s (Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain, why!?!?) sentimental ending involving the reunification of mama ghost and baby was, well, unsatisfying. To me anyway. They often try to blend some emotional moments into the story, but the whole thing comes off as distracting, contrived and awkward. Bleahz.

Still, the trailer for Oculus had my interest piqued. What I gathered from it was that it was still going to be another average, run-off-your-mill horror film involving a demonic mirror (Oooo, original!), but at the same time I could see that it was going to play the psychological horror card instead of relying on cheap scares. And boy, I was impressed! The story involves a pair of siblings reunited after the lasser glass, the demonic mirror in question, caused the death of their parents ten years ago. The brother was incriminated and sent to a psychiatric faculty for treatment, while the sister spent her past 10 years waiting for his release so that they can fulfil their “promise” on wanting to destroy the damn thing. This to me was one of the flaws of the writing; Ok, I get that they are psychologically scarred but why would you want to mess around with a supernatural force that destroyed your family 10 years ago? Move on! Did they really think that they had a chance in destroying it? And also, why didn’t they just attempt using the “emergency” plan right from the start, which is to smash the mirror with an anchor connected to a switch? And in the first place, what made them think that they could smash the mirror when they have tried to in the first place (Granted, they used golf clubs when they were young but I don’t think using a heavier object was going to help)?

Still, ignoring all these tiny loopholes, I actually found myself appreciating Oculus much more than some of the acclaimed horror films today (The Conjuring!?). What I appreciated about it was its very smart storytelling: they made it clear from the start that the demonic mirror was able to manipulate its victims into hearing and seeing what it wants them to. That way, they were able to blend two storylines together: what was happening now, and what happened ten years ago. The director uses what happened ten years ago to not only mess around with the heads of the two main characters, but to also explain to the viewer what really happened then. I thought that was a smart move, as it gave the movie the “mindfuck” element that was needed, but at the same time I thought it was quite well-handled as it never became too complicated or confusing to follow.

As mentioned, the film attempts to rely more on the horror elements rather than cheap scares. Naturally, there are jump scares as usual (yes, yes I jumped) but they weren’t that bad as compared to others. I thought the ghouls were actually pretty creepy: I liked how they weren’t doing weird stuff like vomiting blood and goo and cracking their bones, but just standing there and…smiling at you, with their glowing eyes. That was a nice touch. I love psychological horror in general, and over here it’s used effectively. Besides letting the ghouls smile at them as the characters run through the corridors in fear, there’s also that infamous apple/light bulb scene which was genuinely disturbing. And I like the famous scene in the trailer where the clothed “figures” were turning in the mirror’s reflection; spooky!

Oculus is no masterpiece, but I think it’s one of the better films of the genre to have come out lately. Of course, look away if you are expecting brain eating zombies and gore or Kayako crawling down the stair (Ju-on is on youtube), but I think it’s a nice attempt at psychological horror despite its flaws. 3.5/5.

2) 49 Days

*This is goddamn infuriating. I basically typed out the entire section of this part but for some reason the page refreshed on its own (NOT MY FAULT) and deleted it*

Basically, I was talking about my disdain for Korean family dramas but now I have to do it in a succinct manner as I no longer have the energy to go into the rant that I did the first time: My family loves them, I don’t. The writing is usually lazy, sloppy and incredibly cheesy, and they run over 100 unnecessary episodes, which makes them agonizing to sit through every dinner. From what I’ve seen (I’ll admit that I’m biased: haven’t see a lot of them) they are usually a manipulation of the following elements: a poor family, a rich family, swapped babies (betweeen the rich and poor), an impossible annoying protagonist (can be from the rich or poor family) with a heart purer than the purest of gold and will do anything right even if it’s none of his/her fracking business and will land him in even more trouble (Oh Ja Ryong), a vindictive antagonist (usually from the poor family, may or may not be a swapped baby) with a “woe-is-me” attitude who goes all out to attack the protagonist because “god is so unfair to me blablabla STFU”. Naturally, you get company politics that I couldn’t care less about, usually involving the bad guy trying to take over the good guy’s company while stealing their partner at the same time. To me, there’s this “I’ve seen this too many times” feeling that haunts me every time they show, and they are nothing more than tiresome. And talk about lazy naming of shows: Moon And Stars For You, Twinkle Twinkle, Oh Ja Ryong Is Coming! Add in a grating opening theme song while at it, and the whole thing just collapses in my eyes.

I know people tend to praise the acting, and I’m sure Korea has fantastic actors (the ones I know are those in the art-house films, like Choi Min Sik and Song Kang Ho), but over here it’s just overwrought and plain annoying. When they’re sad, they CRY, they WAIL, the TEARS FLOW OUT, they SCREAM, they BANG THEIR FISTS on the ground, they SHAKE THEIR HANDS IN THE MOST DRAMATIC FASHION and basically they go through 500 degrees of hamtastic overacting to communicate that despair to you. Otherwise, they smile so widely and add in cute poses just to prove that they are meant to bring and spread positivity to the whole world…bleahz.

Still, 49 Days belongs to a different category altogether. With only 20 episodes, it’s clear that the show is catered towards younger audiences even though my entire family watched it. Actually, the show was released 3 years ago and my whole family has already watched it back then (except me), but now that it is playing on Channel U (lagging behind as usual), they are naturally watching it again because they loved the show then, and still do. And yes, I joined in this time.

Ok my opinion is biased: I only watched the last ten episodes, but that was enough for me because the show’s story line isn’t that hard to understand. The plot is kinda very whacky: a rich, soon-to-marry girl Ji-Hyun gets into an accident and was taken “before her time is up”. She meets her “scheduler” cum guardian angel, a young hippie who gives her two options: a) Accept that she is taken too soon or b) goes on this 49 Days pilgrimage to find 3 people who love her and collect their tears so as to prove her life has value before time runs out (or face death), cause it’s like totally her fault that she was taken before her time? Naturally she chooses b and was loaned the body of this moping, despondent shell of a woman called Yi-Kyung who basically has no meaning in her life other than to spend her nights working and her days sleeping. Incidentally, this woman was the cause of the accident as she tried to commit suicide by letting a truck run over her. Anyway, as if things weren’t complicated enough, there were even rules in place: a) the tears musn’t come from family members cause heaven is one troublemaking bitch and b) our leading girl must never ever reveal her true identity or else she will DIE, although it’s okay if the living people somehow figures it out as long as she doesn’t acknowledge it and pretends she doesn’t know that they know. Of course, the chances of this happening is very low and is sooooo not going to happen, right?

So under the disguise of Yi-Kyung, Ji-Hyun goes begins her 49 Days journey while her real self remains in a vegetative state in the hospital, with a “very slim chance of waking up”. She uses Yi-Kyungs body in the day, and returns it to her at night without Yi-Kyung realising, of course. In the meantime, Ji-Hyun learns that she isn’t as popular as she is (take that, sunshine girl) and that her fiance was actually having an affair with her BEST friend and is plotting to…guess what!?!? TAKE OVER THE COMPANY! So what was originally a mission to collect 3 tears becomes a mission to save her company…under the disguise of this other woman.

I’ll just keep my review of the show short:

Positive:

1) The cast is beautiful. Superficial reason? Yes, but there’s no denying that watching beautiful Koreans work their magic on screen makes the whole show a lot more tolerable.

Oh no, we’re really nice actually!

Our leading girl Ji-hyun and her “scheduler”

2) The acting is not bad: No, I wouldn’t be throwing Emmys their way but it isn’t as bad as their family drama counterparts. The best in the cast would be Lee Yo-Won, who has to play a double role here as the “possessed” Yi-Kyung in the day and the catatonic Yi-Kyung at night. For the most part, she sells it and I did see 2 different characters, although the real Yi-Kyung is just boring and almost catatonic. It was meant to be like that, so I was okay. Bae Soo Bin plays Min-ho,  the scheming fiance and yes, he was very good as well, using his character’s past to justify his actions (yeah yeah, another “woe-is-me” poor kid). Is this actor destined to play a villain? I just watched him play a cannibalistic plastic surgeon in Horror Stories (I’m not familiar with his work, don’t bash me). Anyway, the entire cast was good, but these 2 stood out for me.

Not-so-good:

1) Writing loses strength towards the end: In many ways. Yi-Kyung starts to become more and more “aware” of Ji-Hyun’s spiritual presence and towards the end they could even SPEAK to one another, although Yi-Kyung couldn’t see her. It was really…weird, the way Yi-Kyung was like “oh you can use my body for the next 10 days, cause my life has no meaning so just use my body as you will blablaba”. Also, the whole “it’s okay that the humans figure out who you are, as long as you don’t say so yourself” rule feels a bit weird, but I guess they needed a way for the living characters to figure out who she is (even though the chances of this happening are sooooooo slim, indeed). In many scenes, Han Kang (Ji-Hyun’s old classmate) speaks to Ji-Hyun (as Yi-Kyung) but because of that stupid “you musn’t reveal your identity rule”, they have to keep referring to Ji-Hyun in THIRD PERSON even though she’s actually there. Like for instance, when Han successfully persuaded Ji-Hyun’s dad to go for surgery, she had to say “Ji-Hyun would be grateful to you” as Yi-Kyung, even though by then Han Kang was already aware of what’s going on. Yes, the whole thing is as bizarre as it sounds. Haven’t they watched Heaven Can Wait (1978)?

The plot twist wasn’t very good, and to me it was just plain contrived. Major spoiler ahead, although Ji-Hyun collects her 3 tears, it turns out that she still couldn’t save herself as she was already destined to die not long after the accident. “Had this accident not happen, I would have committed suicide from the pain of knowing that my fiance cheated on me and robbed my company. So I’m glad that I used the 49 Days to set things right,” she said sadly after she woke up form her coma (her scheduler dropped the bomb on her not long after she woke up). This part was fine for me (seriously) until the next major plot twist ahead, which was that Yi-Kyung was apparently Ji-Hyun’s long lost sister. God.

2) Waaaay too many freaking crying scenes towards the end: If you are familiar with Korean dramas, you know that they love making their actors cry. To me, it’s very clear that each crying scene is an “on cue” thing rather than a truthful moment, but for the most part it worked as an emotional scene. Until the end: GOODNESS! They cry and they cry and they cry over the betrayal, heartbreak, loss, death blablabla and it was damn near to driving me nuts. It wasn’t as overwrought as their soaps, but it was such an obvious manipulation on the director’s part.

Okok, I shall end this very long post here. 49 Days was actually quite a watchable K-drama that I’m not gonna deny I enjoyed despite the wonky ending and weird scenes here and there. I wouldn’t hesitate in giving it a B+, and that’s generous from someone who usually don’t watch them. Meanwhile, I shall get started on A Clockwork Orange (1971) soon.

Quick ones: Blue Jasmine and Captain Phillips

Alright, I’m slow but I finally did a bit of catching up on the Oscars train. I’ll just briefly give my opinions on both movies because I’m a little bit busy right now. Let’s just say that I enjoyed both movies very much, and I guess they deserved the recognition by the major awards (especially Cate Blanchett). I don’t really have anything negative to say about both films, but of course, we all know that I consider myself extremely lenient and open minded when it comes to film viewing….So….

Blue Jasmine

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Good: Cate Blanchett. She really nailed every emotional aspect of the character, and her portrayal was really an answer to a question that I’ve once asked about what would Blanche Dubois be like in the modern world. And voila, I really got the perfect answer. It is a very calculated, slightly theatrical performance that is filled with mannerisms but the role requires it and she pulls it off. On the other hand, I know I shouldn’t be making comparisons to A Streetcar Named Desire, but Sally Hawkins is no Kim Hunter. Still the character is quite different, so it’s an unfair comparisons. I thought she was really great in the final confrontation with Jasmine. She nailed the insecure, nervous ticks of the character, which is extremely different to Stella From Streetcar. I guess I just found the latter a more fascinating character.

Neutral: Eh it’s a nice spin off I guess but like I said, I just couldn’t help with the comparisons to A Streetcar Named Desire. Obviously that’s the better film, but this one stands pretty strongly. I thought the brief mention of Chilli and Jasmine being attracted to each other initially quite unnecessary because it wasn’t very obvious, especially when I think of the intense chemistry between Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando. Still, it’s quite a small issue so I didn’t mind. I also think that it could have been a lot more devastating, or even comedic at times, but I it seems like the film decided to take a “Woody Allen” route, with the witty dialogue and all. The male characters are very underdeveloped, which isn’t that big of a problem but I would have liked to see and know more of them (Like with Brando and Malden’s performances). Overall, it’s noticeably a lot less pretentious and annoying than other Woody Allen films, which is something that I liked.

Captain Phillips

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Good: I’m more impressed by the storytelling, the pacing, the camerawork and the technical aspects of the movie as compared to the acting here. I felt that all the right elements were in place, and the first half involving the crew hiding from the pirates was masterfully done and very suspenseful. The second half was great as well, but somehow I just wasn’t as engaged (maybe because I already knew the ending). Still it got very intense towards the end, so no issues overall!

Tom Hanks is one of the most respected and beloved actors in Hollywood, but I always feel like I respect his performances rather than love them. I definitely wouldn’t put rank him on the same level as Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman talent-wise (let’s just ignore the crap they’ve been appearing in recently). Having said that, he’s definitely a great actor imo, as proven by Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away. What? Oh no, I did not accidentally forget to mention Forrest Gump, but I’ll talk about that one some other day.

My problem with him is that I really don’t like his charming American Hero/Family man thing which he likes to do in a lot of his roles. I find it a little bit fake and annoying. It’s like I can almost see a speech bubble in his head that says “Go on, you know you like me, so why don’t you just like me and give me an Oscar while you’re at it“. It doesn’t help that I happen to know people who act exactly like that in real life and yet I know that they are absolute assholes behind the charming facade. Anyway, his performance here couldn’t be anymore different as compared to those roles, there’s an emotional honesty and intensity to it that made me fully believe what the character was feeling and going through. There wasn’t much room for developing a super complex character, but it’s still nice to see how he changed from being such a firm and steady man in the beginning to his weakened, vulnerable and traumatized state at the end. I was expecting a very “Look! Tom Hanks can ACT” performance but he did it very heartbreakingly and realistically.

Neutral: I mean….Barkhad Abdi was really good as the pirate, and I’ll admit he added quite a lot of depth to the character…but what’s up with all the overwhelming awards recognition? Still, I’m not saying that it’s a bad performance in any way, especially considering that the guy has NEVER acted before… it’s very good, it serves its purpose well, he was menacing enough and all… I just don’t see him as a standout. I feel like saying that Tom Hanks was snubbed but I haven’t seen ANY of the other nominees performances so I have no opinion.

I’m wondering whether I should watch American Hustle…that movie really swept the nominations but if I’m being completely honest, I’m not really a fan of David O. Russell. Sure, Silver Linings Playbook was great but I did think that it was massively overhyped, although I think Lawrence’s performance was deservedly recognized. I’ve also been reading a lot of comments about American Hustle being overhyped…but I guess I’ll judge for myself.

Oh and I haven’t watched 12 Years A Slave too LOL.

I’ve expressed my opinions about the Oscars (and award shows in general). Nowadays I’m merely following them for fun and as a movie fanatic but I just can’t find the drive to watch every single nominated film and performance. I know that a lot of people are saying that the whole thing is very politics driven nowadays and I have to agree. Still, I do like some of their recent choices, and naturally have those that I disagree with as well. I just think that the internet community shouldn’t be tearing each other apart over this thing…I mean, it’s all subjective isn’t it? No ones opinion is truly right or wrong, unless the person is obviously trolling.

I mean….look at Glenn freaking Close!!! She is still Oscarless, but does that put her below actresses like Jennifer Lawrence (whom I’m not afraid to admit that I like) and Reese Witherspoon?

Anyway…that’s all for now. I’m probably going to watch The Wolf of Wall Street next because I’m a Scorsese fan.

P.s. Latest AHS episode was totally WTF ridiculous imo. I beginning to agree that those characters who died should have stayed dead aka Myrtle Snow. I mean, I initially thought that she had her purpose in restoring Cordelia’s eyesight but now…

American Horror Story: Coven review

Note: Views here are personal! Don’t get all butthurt if you disagree cause I always respect differing opinions, whether or not I agree with them

I’m not a great follower of American dramas. Actually, I’m not really a “TV series” kind of person in general, so unless the show really has something that sticks out and draw me in, I usually find it hard to stay devoted to any particular drama series. I have never watched “How I Met Your Mother” (Horror! I know), “The Big Bang Theory” or even “Breaking Bad”. “Homeland” was the only series that I’ve managed to follow through both seasons. I actually thought it was pretty great, despite some obvious flaws in the writing that annoyed me. Oh, and don’t get me started on “Glee”. I don’t want to offend any fans, but that show is really…Such great potential and then…

Anyway, I watched the first two seasons of this series called “American Horror Story”. Well I gave up on the second season because it got way too ridiculous. Basically, each season of the show takes place in a different place with a different storyline each. I’m not going to go into the details but the first season took place in a “murder house” while the second season took place in an asylum. The show pays tribute to various horror movies, such as The Omen, The Exorcist and The Evil Dead….which is fine, except that I find these plot lines not very well blended into the show’s main (but pretty nonexistent imo) story lines. I mean, an alien abduction plot in the fucking asylum? Not to mention that it wasn’t well explained…at all. “The Black Dahlia”? Come on!

That being said, the main reason why I do manage to stay through at least half of each season is because of, well:

Jessica Lange as Sister Jude Martin from American Horror Story: Asylum

She’s such a fantastic actress. I mean it. I even felt that she should have won the Emmy for the second season of the show despite the horridness of the story (?). I feel like this was meant to be a vehicle to showcase her tremendous acting talent and range, which it did, and I’m so glad that the younger generation like mine can get to know of such a great actress. (I mean, I love Meryl Streep and all but…)

Actually, I knew of her work way before AHS (I feel so proud saying this). I watched her in this pretty charming film called “Tootsie” and I loved her in that (She won the supporting actress oscar for it). She was so sweet, naive and funny in that film that it’s kinda scary, seeing how it’s like a 180 degree turn from her AHS persona. And then there was her second oscar winning work in Blue Sky (THAT MOVIE! Urgh…) which was as amazing. You know, it’s a true testament to the ability of the actress when she is able to rise above the material she’s in…and keep viewer’s attached…

This monologue always gets me…the sheer emotional rawness of it all…Brilliant.

I can go on and on about how Jessica Lange is now my favourite actress but I think I should get back to my real purpose here, which is to share my opinions about the third season so far. IS IT as horrid as season 2?

Was it this torturous? Or worse, like having to sit through season 2?

I actually liked it. The whole absurdity is toned down a notch and it actually has…a storyline. I feel that it addresses its themes pretty well, and the topics such as ageing, motherhood, obsession with power, revenge and racism all blended pretty well together. Anyway, I still have my doubts because the season isn’t completed yet and things could go downhill from here but so far I’m pretty satisfied. I feel that the storyline is actually FOCUSED, without going overboard with the references to horror movies (The Evil Dead one was abit much though but I wasn’t THAT bothered…)

Anyway, I can’t give an overly detailed review yet but I can list down a few points here….

The Good:

1) Jessica Lange. Although I prefer the Sister Jude character, I think she played the part to perfection (once again). Actually, what impresses me the most about Jessica is that she manages to make each of the three seasons’ characters so…distinct from each other. Yes, they’re all bitchy as hell and always spouting all these sarcastic (but hilarious) one liners but to me, it is INCREDIBLY clear that these are 3 different characters with 3 different personalities. Sister Jude is often misunderstood as evil, which really puzzles me because I’ve always understood her as a character who merely wants to establish control over that fucked up place. I guess it’s because her methods are a rather extreme at times but you know what, when you are stuck in a place that is run by a demonic nun and mad scientist, crawling with carnivorous mutants and intruded by a serial killer disguised as a shrink,  Sister Jude’s methods seem positively tame in comparison. And the way Lange portrays how Jude is constantly tormented by her past and overwhelmed by the guilt of her actions…wow.

As for Fiona Goode, well, she’s not so “grey” and she’s clearly leaning towards the evil side, but Lange added the much needed complexity to the character, showing how there’s still a human side to her. I mean, that hospital scene where she revived the dead baby seemed so random and out of place but thanks to Lange’s brilliant emotional investment, it becomes really powerful and moving. And the guilt over neglecting her daughter is also portrayed to perfection. Jessica Lange has always been an actress who could portray all the flaws of the characters she plays with so much ease (Even in her seemingly one dimensional role in Tootsie) that it actually makes them extremely human and relatable…And her fears and insecurities because of her ailing health and her ageing body are so well depicted that you can’t help but feel sorry for the character despite her crap. I mean, just that scene where she wipes the tears while watching the plastic surgery video is amazing.

“I’m in charge everywhere”

Of course, the evil scenes are portrayed with delicious malice as well. The entire monologue before she *SPOILER ALERT* killed Madison *SPOILER OFF* was just brilliantly complex. Was she guilty about her past actions? Or did she feel triumphant?

Besides the emotional distinction, the physical and technical parts were brilliant as well (I got a limited vocabulary, I know). The stiff, upright posture of Sister Jude as compared to the catlike slouch of Fiona Goode, Sister Jude’s unique and firm Boston (I THINK it’s Boston, I’m really not sure paiseh) accent as compared to the hissing and snarling of Fiona… This could go on but I think you get my point.

“I was a shitty supreme…”

2) Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. I’m so glad with their addition but I have to admit that Bate’s role kinda disappointed me because of how limited it is. That’s not to say that she wasn’t brilliant though, she was REALLY scary and effective in the first episode (Different, yet similar to her iconic performance in Misery) and the guilt over the ill treatment of her daughters was a finely acted scene but…that was it. I have no idea what’s going to happen to the character now, I hope she gets a better arc other than merely being…the maid.

‘Such a small part? Wanna get “hobbled”?’

Angela Bassett is pretty fine. I’m not really familiar with her work as an actress (Haven’t watched What’s love go to do with it?) and I have to admit that her line delivery bugged me in the beginning (Why EmPhaSise On Each SyLlaBus?) but I actually got used to it and now I even think that it’s very effective. It really shows how forceful and extreme the character can get. She’s pretty siao anyway. And her showdown with Jessica Lange was really great.

Too late for tears, damage is DONE!

3) Lily Rabe. Fantastic as Misty Day. I love how she brought out every tiny aspect of this character that makes her so fascinating, funny and mysterious at the same time. I actually liked this one more than the Sister Mary Eunice character because I find this character so more complex. She has such a strong screen presence and I think that she’s an excellent character actress so….Give her more to do…please?

4) Focused, and fairly intriguing storyline (For once!!!) but I’ve already talked about that earlier

Not-so-good:

1) The younger actresses. Oh dear. Emma Roberts was fine imo, I don’t want to sound judgemental but I feel like this role isn’t much of a stretch for her. Moving on…

Taissa Farmiga…what happened? I can’t really remember season 1 but I actually sorta remembered that she was pretty good as Violet Harmon! Anyway I’m blaming it on the character cause she isn’t really smart but why does she always look so…blank? Maybe this character isn’t exactly spunky but the way she said “witch up!” was so bland… like nah, I don’t think I’ll join your team. That being said, she played the terrified aspect pretty well, I guess, but that was when the character was being a TOTAL idiot (I’m talking about the police interrogation scene). I do hope that what’s with the hints of the character’s future development, Farmiga’s acting can…improve as well.

Gabourey Sidibe. I don’t know much about her work either, all I remember is that she was extremely heartbreaking in that movie “Precious” and actually held up pretty well to Mo’nique’s TOWERING achievement. But over here….THAT MASTURBATION SCENE (Simply had to get it out)! Actually I don’t blame her, it was a horribly written scene that was CLEARLY for shock factor and I guess she did what she could…but still looked pretty darn lost. The earlier scenes where she was trying to be bitchy (The way she insulted the others, I don’t know…) and all felt rather forced in my opinion but I think it got better in the later episodes. I mean, her evil laughter while torturing Spalding was fairly memorable.

Mixed feelings:

1) Denis O’Hare. Nothing wrong here, I’m just wondering why he’s forever delegated to being victimised by Lange. Lol. We need more Russell Edgington!

2) Sarah Paulson. LOVE HER, fantastic actress, fantastic performance in season 2…Over here, nothing wrong with the performance. In fact she’s really good, I guess it’s just that her season 2 character (hence performance) was so much more dynamic, forceful, heartbreaking and haunting that this Cordelia Fox character REALLY pales in comparison. And I do think that she’s a bit of an idiot sometimes. Having said that, with this newly acquired gift of hers, I think that there’s going to be some major developments with this character so I haven’t given up yet

Ending thoughts: Good and enjoyable season, but I’m starting to get a bit scared cause that axeman character feels like an unnecessary plot device. We can only see how it goes from here.

***

Life so far: School term has ended, my finals are next week. Now before you accuse me of slacking (“Blogging? Watching tv? Sacrilege! You should be SMUgging!” “Oh do me a favor and zip it, goodness”) I’ve been studying the past few days ok! And I’m going for consultation tomorrow. Sighs…I don’t even know why I’m trying to justify my actions, I guess I’m kinda unsettled by the horrified glares I got from my project group mates once for telling them that I took a break by watching a movie. But….but…*struggles for words*

I’m not going to do a reflection of my first semester in SMU because it hasn’t been an eventful one for me and my thoughts are still the same as that of my first post. And with that…I shall end here