Quick Thought – The OA

Netflix has been doing an amazing job at smashing out Original series lately, all of them seem to be huge successes. But there’s so many, it’s hard to know what to watch! So, I thought I’d share a short post on my thoughts of one of their newer series, The OA. I’m not giving a full hugely detailed review (spoiling too much personally ruins a show for me), and I don’t have any theories about what certain things mean (I want to be surprised when season 2 comes out).

It took me a while to pick one of the many Original series that are available, but after hearing so many mixed feelings about it, I finally decided to give The OA a go. Some said it’s a lot like Stranger Things, others have said it’s just a bit too weird. I like weird, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I’ll start by saying that the cast is amazing. Just flat out brilliant and captivating. If you love watching amazing acting, then just go for this because these actors won’t let you down.

As I mentioned, I’m not going to reveal too much about the plot, because it’s so eccentric, I don’t think I’ll be able to do it any justice what-so-ever. All you need to know, is that it’s about a blind woman who went missing and she returns to her family 7 years later, with her vision fully intact. She tells her story of how she got her sight back and what she went through during the 7 years and it’s incredible, both in good and bad ways.

The biggest gripe I have, is the reveal of the title. OA. I don’t think I quite understood it, and because of that it lets everything down a bit. It’s almost as if the creators had this amazing idea for a series and then ran out of steam when thinking of the title and therefore didn’t put any effort into it. It was obvious the reveal was important, but it just didn’t work. And from what I’ve heard, I’m not the only one that things it was a bit silly. (if you have watched this series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the reveal.) I’m sure there are a few others problems with the series, but that, for me, was the biggest one.

That aside, The OA is a pretty incredible series about life, death, ‘the other side’ and love. If you like weird, I highly recommend you watch this. Once you’re 3-4 episodes in, you will likely be hooked. I cried toward the end of the last episode (there are only 8, so it’s not a long series) and I think the ending was fairly satisfying.

Overall, I give The OA 4 out of 5. The title and the reveal let it down in my opinion. I’m sure there could have been much better options. You definitely need to pay attention while watching and it’s not a happy-jolly show, it’s some serious, confusing, crazy shit and I hope there’s a second season.

 

Blood Is Thicker – Bloodline Netflix Original

Bloodline turned out to be a very addicting series and I enjoyed it so much, I just had to write about it. A few spoilers will be found below, but I have tried to keep it to a minimum.

The Rayburn family are a well known, well respected family in Florida. The parents run a successful Inn and even get a pier named after them, they seem like the perfect family. But as you watch you quickly realise that this ‘perfect’ family is anything but.

Meet Danny Rayburn, a complete mess of a man and the outcast of the family. No one seems to know why Danny is such a mess at life, but the family constantly goes out of their way to remind him that he is just that. I feel for Danny, in every episode. My heart aches for him as you learn why he continually messes up at life, but it won’t take long until you too are wondering if you should care, or if you should forget about him.

His brother, John is a control freak to say the least. Being a detective, nothing gets passed this guy…except everything. When I think about it, he’s also a huge mess of a man, who doesn’t know which direction he’s walking. I like John, he’s the one that tries to look after everyone and pick up the mess left behind. But at times, I just couldn’t help but think ‘seriously John?’ as a lot of his decisions are questionable.

Then there’s Meg, (shut up Meg!) she is a lawyer and also a massive bitch. But you can’t blame her for that, she was completely ignored as a child and was that popular kid in school we all hated. She panics, cheats, discriminates and gets bullied by her brothers, but no matter what she does, I just can’t like her. At times I feel like she’s being dumb on purpose, just to avoid awkward situations and then there’s cutting Danny out of the will. She just seems a bit…cold.

But I don’t dislike any of them, as much as I dislike Kevin. A short fuse doesn’t even scratch the surface with this guys temper. He’s the type of guy that would bump into you and then shout at you for not looking where you were going. Hot headed, stupid, reckless and a complete mess (are you seeing a pattern here?), Kevin is just universally unlikable and the biggest pain in the ass, after Danny of course.

Onto the parents. If there was an award for World’s Worst Parents ever, they would win it by a mile…or ten. Sally and Robert Rayburn are…frustrating. Sally is oblivious to why her children are the way they are, it’s either that or she doesn’t want to believe why, so she doesn’t. Robert is a scumbag in my opinion. He favoured his children and neglected others. I cheered when he died.

Watching a dysfunctional family always makes for good entertainment and even though I disliked a lot of the family most of the time, I still cared and wanted them to mend the cracks in their relationships. But it seems this family forgets that blood is thicker than the water that surrounds their island. They didn’t choose their family, but they did choose to neglect Danny to the point of destruction and they have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

As a side note, John’s wife annoyed me more than anything. She just seems like a complete cow who doesn’t understand anything that’s going on. She asks stupidly obvious questions and creates arguments out of thin air. Every time she opened her mouth, I got annoyed.

However this series was brilliant, the camera angles and music really put you on edge, the actors were marvelous and the characters were exactly what you would expect them to be when you learn of their upbringing. I found myself constantly saying ‘Oh Danny, what have you done?’ and with every episode, I seemed to say it more and more.

A lot of emotions will wash over you while you go on this journey with the Rayburn family. But there is one that will stay with you throughout the whole thing and that’s the pity you feel for Danny. No matter how badly he f**ks up, you feel for him because you know the only reason he does what he does, is because of his family and how what they did affected him.

I can’t wait to start the second season, it’s going to be very…interesting.

Adventure Time: The Secret Of The Nameless Kingdom

Oh My Glob, a new Adventure Time game! Join Jake and Finn in a brand new top-down adventure game with plenty of puzzles to solve. I, like many other hardcore Adventure Time fans was excited for this new game. It looked hilarious and I was personally very excited to go on my own adventure with my favourite cartoon dog and human.

This game is easy to get to grips with, although there isn’t really any tutorial for the controls. When I run into a monster I can’t help myself but shout “Oh my Glob!!” and run away in terror, because for some reason defending yourself just seems to be a bit too difficult.

Jake takes the form of a shield at the beginning of the game and he’s the only defense you have to reflect attacks, however getting the angle just right is tricky and I found myself dying quite a lot because the controls are just a little too sensitive.

Having said that, the humour Jake brings to the game is brilliant and quite frankly needed. They break the fourth wall quite a lot and it can be amusing. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot more I can say about this game that is good.

The gameplay is slow, the map is too vague to know where you’re really going and the puzzles are just a bit too confusing. It’s as if you need to do everything in a particular order and you won’t be able to complete the big missions unless you’ve done A, B and C first. That would be fine, if the game made it clear as to what you’re meant to do, but it doesn’t.

Most games introduce you to the controls, the menus and the plot before you get into the nitty gritty part; but this game just drops you right into the fray and expects you to know what you’re supposed to do. There is a shop mechanic, which seems like a good idea but everything is just too expensive. While collecting “All the rubles!” isn’t hard, it is tedious and wastes an awful lot of time.

All in all I would play this game for thirty minutes at a time but no more. It isn’t a game you can get lost in and I personally can’t handle more than half an hour at a time. If I were to score it out of 10, it would get a generous 5. There are some good parts to this game, but for the most part it falls flat.

Hit or Miss? Borderlands: The Pre Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre Sequel

Crazy enemies, insane guns and horrific creatures are just a few of the aspects we are all used to in the Borderlands universe. Two games have provided players with hours of unlimited fun, with unusual driving controls and over powered guns that literally blow your enemy into a hundred pieces.

I, like many others, have spent countless hours in front of my screen shooting psycho’s and reviving my friends as we get over run by raging goliaths. But I never thought that anything was really missing. Sure the game would sometimes make you rage, but a lot of games do and that’s a part of the fun.

Borderlands: The Pre Sequel has crash landed into our homes and I was very excited to see what new additions Gearbox had come up with. A new location, new characters and a younger Jack are just the tip of the iceberg and needless to say I had high hopes for this eagerly anticipated installment.

The story takes place before Jack turns into, well…Jack, before he goes power mad and before we try to shoot him in his handsome face. The new vault hunters are unique and fun, while I currently favour Wilhelm I have no doubt that whatever character you choose to play as, you will enjoy the game and storyline.

As well as new characters and weapons, there is also a new survival element you have to keep your eye on. You need oxygen to be able to survive in this new world and it can come in handy if you find yourself surrounded by lunatics with laser guns. Using your oxygen kit to jump, you can ground slam your opponents and push them away from you while dealing damage to everyone in the immediate area.

Oxygen is a great addition to the game and adds a little bit more difficulty to survival, but while oxygen isn’t in short supply, when surrounded by enemies I did often forget about my need for O2 and found myself running to the closest oxygen vent in a panic.

But were these additions missing from the previous games? Does Borderlands need O2 kits, hoverbike style cars and aliens? The game hasn’t grasped my attention like the previous two have and a part of me can’t help but wonder if Gearbox lost the Borderlands charm with adding all of these new mechanics. The brilliant humour is still very much alive but I can’t help but miss Pandora and all of its unique locations. There is something about Pandora that makes me want to go back to it time and time again but Elpis is missing that, it doesn’t feel like home and it’s scenery is extremely repetitive.

While my heart isn’t in the game or with the characters just yet, I will keep following them in the hope that I will fall in love with Elpis just as I did with Pandora. If you’re a hardcore Borderlands fan I recommend this game, you will enjoy the new characters and of course running over enemies, but to those that are new to the franchise, I’d advice you start with the first game, introduce yourself to the psycho’s and watch the skies for those pesky rakk’s.

A Sequel that’s not a let down? How To Train Your Dragon 2

Sequels; they are often an unnecessary follow up to films that have smashed the box office. While some franchises pull the plug after the second installment, others insist to milk it for everything they can. How To Train Your Dragon 2 breaks the tradition of mediocre sequels and remains exciting for audiences of all ages.

The characters we know and love have grown a little older but their personalities are still the same. They all continue to have their own little quirks and with the addition of dragons living on Berk, the cute Island and it’s residents have become even more charming.

If you thought the first film was amazing and if it left you wishing you owned your very own toothless; but you were still left thinking there weren’t quite enough dragons, then this sequel will not leave you disappointed. New dragons, new locations and interesting new characters truly add to this magical world.

While the film may not be perfect; I thought Hiccup’s reaction to his mother being alive was a little relaxed, he was a lot calmer than I would have thought possible for someone who thought his mother died twenty years ago, it is certainly not far from the mark. The animation is breathtaking, the soundtrack is dramatic and the story will keep your eyes on the screen until the very end; and then you’ll wish for more.

The new additions to this franchise fit into the world perfectly, even the villain had a place and he posed a real threat to the world. And while we learn that there is always a nice way to control a dragon army, you’re still left wondering if our power hungry villain, Drago could have ever changed for the better.

I certainly don’t think this sequel was unnecessary, just like the first film it left me wishing Berk was an actual place and that dragons were real. I personally cannot wait for the third installment; if Dreamworks devote the same amount of passion into the third as they have with the first two, it will undoubtedly be another amazing piece of art.