True Detective Season One Review (2014).

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This post will contain spoilers.

Air Date: 12/01/14
Writer:
Nic Pizzolatto
Director:
Cary Fukunaga
cast:
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

True Detective deserves every bit of praise it’s ever received, it’s stylish, poetic and an absolute pleasure to watch from start to finish, the only bad part? That it’s only eight episodes long.

Season one of True Detective follows the lives of Rustin Chole (Matthew McConaughey) a smart profiler and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) an old style cop; we’re shown their story over the course of a 17 year period, making use of flashbacks to cover this large timescale. Originally the pair were brought together to work on a high profile case which appeared to have occult underpinnings, their lives become intertwined as they attempt to uncover the culprit in the hot murky swamps of Louisiana which seems to get more complicated as the season continues.

As the season progresses the case becomes complicated, Rust believes it goes higher than they first imagined, possibly involving law enforcement and elite members of society. He eventually convinces his partner but nobody else is keen to agree, Rust later uncovers evidence that links a well-known and prominent family to cult murders which have been happening during this 17 year period; the Tuttles, but catching them is the hard part.

True Detective is a mini-series (also called an anthology), each is eight episodes long; seasons will move onto different detectives (season two is currently airing and stars Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams). The episodes are approximately one hour long, all written by nic Pizzolatto and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Everyone involved seem to have a clear creative goal and it makes for a beautifully crafted series. Everything about this season fits perfectly, the style, the setting, the opening credits and the music all come together so well to craft this intriguing crime thriller which will have you on the end of your seat until the very last minutes.

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Out of the two leads, McConaughy’s Cohle is certainly the more intriguing of the two lead characters, which is due partly of course to the writing of Nic Pizzolatto, as he created such a unique and layered character, Cohle is opinionated and has strange ideas about the world we live in, but, in some ways, he speaks the truth; this goes completely against the grain in this Louisiana setting, especially with his partner; Marty Hart. Cohle has a troubled past and a dark persona; which he himself is well aware of and practically revels in, but he’s not alone; his partner, Hart is also battling his own demons which is starting to take its toll on himself and those around him: mainly, his family.

True detective is slow paced, nothing is rushed, everyone gets their fair share of screen time, Pizzolatto has given the characters room to breathe, we spend enough time with them to almost feel as if we know them. Sometimes Cohle does seem rather ‘out there’ statements such as “I don’t sleep, I just dream” or his remarks on how an area scattered with broken down buildings reminds him of someone’s a faded memory. Harrelson’s Hart manages to bring the tone back down to earth, they’re well suited and the acting from both is phenomenal; they manage to bounce off one another well which in turn adds some much needed laughter into an otherwise serious programme, Harrelson and McConaughey real life friendship certainly helped on this part as they work together magnificently.

In some ways what we’re seeing is nothing new to the other cop shows on TV; what makes it stand out from the crowd is the acting of both Harrelson and McConnaughy alongside a terrific script paired with some beautiful direction by Fukunaga. All this combined makes season one of True Detective one to remember which also begs for multiple viewings.

5/5

Game of Thrones Season 4 Review Part 1

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So we’re now over half way through the season so I thought I’d take a look back at some of the past episodes. Soon we shall reach the end and be sat around itching for a new season to begin and there will be a big emptiness where Game of Thrones used reside, below are my thoughts on some of the episodes so far, this is also from a viewpoint of someone who has read up to and part way through a Dance of Dragons so obviously, beware of spoilers.

 

S04E01‘Two Swords’ 

We have been placed back in King’s Landing witnessing events before joffrey is to marry Margery Tyrell. Considering the way weddings are going at the moment it’s rather obvious this wasn’t going to go down too well.

Plenty of screen time has been allocated to the newly introduced character Oberyn Martell, and quite rightly so, he’s going to be an important piece in the game of thrones this season. We know about his troubled passed and his feelings and attitude towards House Lannister due to his sisters horrific death during the sack of Kings Landing, he reminds Tyrion of this during their tense scene together. It was interesting to finally have some important and significant back story of Westoros, reading the books you learn so much but it’s hard to fit all the information in these hour long episodes.

We are soon back with Deanerys who is sat with one of her dragons(Drogon), her two others appear with a meal, scrapping over the food, Drogon begins to feast on it himself.In her attempt to try and calm him, he soon turns on her. Although she is not harmed, there is a sense that she will inevitably lose control over her “children”.

Back at the wall Jon Snow is having to answer for his ‘crimes’, due to the events in the last season when he went over to the wildlings. Showcasing some of Kit Harrington’s best acting so far, as he defends himself against those accusing him and manages to stay alive by the grit of his teeth – and the backing of maester Amon.

Rory McCann (Sandor Cleagane) has been given some of the most hilarious moments and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) adds to these perfectly. One of the most satisfying events to happen in this episode was seeing Arya finally getting her revenge and striking a name from her list. This moment feels like it has been a long time coming, the killing of Polliver was intimate and more importantly she had no problem watching him die at her own hand, showing some interesting character development, albeit slightly disturbing.

 

S04E02 ‘The Lion and the Rose’

This episode is one of the important game changers of Season two, The purple wedding, this episode certainly didn’t disappoint, the major aspect of this episode, unsurprisingly was the marriage of joffrey baratheon to Margery Tyrell, and what a wedding it was.

The scenes were absolutely perfect, I watched this episode unfold intently, near the end I just waited in anticipation for what was about to happen practically on the edge of my seat.

Joffrey’s insulting dismissal of the band at the wedding gave an idea of how badly this situation would be turning out for him. And his barbaric depiction of the war of the five kings was tasteless and uncomfortable to watch, especially given the wedding guests lack of amusement or enjoyment. joffrey also makes a public mockery of his own uncle Tyrion – again. As if it wasn’t enough for him to have to watch the public humiliation like the rest of the guests, he is insulted further to join in on the act. And to top it all off, he requests that Tyrion be his cupbearer.

Joffrey’s death so early on in the season will more than likely have had people celebrating all over the world, yes, it was deserved but seeing him, begging for his mother to help could almost make you have some pity on him. But then again, he WAS a monster and at least Margery is saved the future misery of having to be married to him.

Tyrion unfortunately gets the blunt end here, he’s now been accused by Cersi for the murder of her malicious son. But I highly doubt Tyrion would have been stood there red handed if he had actually done the deed. Even so it looks like he’ll be in chains again for the foreseeable future.

Aswell as these gripping events we headed back to see what the rather deranged Ramsey Snow is currently up to, thankfully it’s no longer torturing Theon – I don’t know if I could have coped with that much longer. But let’s be honest, his situation is not improving rapidly. He’s even been given a new name, ‘Reek’ who is fully devoted to Ramsey due to his fear of him – not entirely surprising really, Ramsey isn’t the kind of person you want to be on the bad side of.

On a side note.

Bran is still travelling further north but I don’t feel that his screen time is showing much progress and I feel like Bran is used to just fill out the story

Jamie and Brienne still have some nice scenes together while in Kings Landing and she’s still trying to get Sansa Stark out of the Lannisters clutches.