Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Missing Review: My Best Drama of 2015!

After I was done with The Affair (which was ok), I started looking for a new drama. I came across this poster of The Missing which instantly got my attention and I decided to check it out. The plot of the show seemed intriguing as well, not to mention countless positive reviews and on top of it all I really enjoy psychological thrillers. After watching the whole show in one breath, I can safely say that this show is my favourite drama in 2015 so keep on reading to learn more about it!

Before I get into the story and characters, I should warn that there will be spoilers here and there (look for a warning). Also this post will not be an episode review. I will not be talking about what happens in the finale either. I just enjoyed the 8-episodes-long mini series so much that I just wanted to introduce the show, talk about my opinions and heartily recommend it to everyone. 

The Missing follows the story of Tony and Emily Hughes after the disappearance of their 8 year old son Oliver while they were on a family vacation in a fictional town called Chalons Du Bois in France in 2006. Though, it is important to note that The Missing is not just some abduction/murder case solving type of show (Broadchurch is a good example of that). Instead it's much more about the psychological effects this has on the parents, how their lives change and how they cope with this unspeakable thing. 

After the unfortunate failure of the police investigation in 2006, Tony, brilliantly acted by James Nesbitt, becomes obsessed to find his son. However, Tony's wife Emily, played by Frances O'Connor doesn't want to spend her life in grief and she wants to move on. But, as you can imagine she can't really do that as Tony keeps digging for some new lead that makes them relive the whole situation again to no avail. False hopes, more disappointment and endless grief... Eventually Tony's obsession to find Oliver, results in him losing everyone in his life (this is no spoiler by the way).  

Tony, Emily and Oliver Hughes
In The Missing, the story is shown in 3 specific years; 2006, 2009 and present, so as the viewer you need to pay attention to which year you are currently watching because the years will keep changing during episodes (past to present, present to past). First we see what happens in 2006 when Oliver disappears and how the investigation is carried out and then in 2009 when Tony finds a new lead and then finally to present day when Tony finds another, albeit, a very solid lead that ultimately leads them to one of my most favourite finales of a TV show (many people disagree as it was open ended and ambiguous) where they discover Oliver's fate. I just like open ended finales much more than being spoon fed everything. It leaves so much to the imagination.

Tony and Emily Hughes at a press conference.
The Missing is full of really well written and supremely acted characters. I actually found the story of the side characters much more intriguing than the main characters (does that make me a horrible person?). The story and all these characters are so rich in layer that they will glue you to your seat until you binge watch the whole season (Good news is that there is a season 2 coming out soon with a different story!).

There was one character in particular that really captivated me so much that I believe there could be a whole TV show or a movie dedicated to him. This character is Vincent Bourg, supremely acted by Titus De Voogdt who puts all the actors of his generation to shame! Vincent is the primary suspect of Oliver's disappearance in 2006 as he is a registered sex offender (child porn was found on his computer) and he was in the vicinity of the area where Oliver has disappeared. This character is so well written and so incredibly well acted that it makes the viewer feel actual sympathy for a pedophile. His inner turmoil is very well summarised in an episode in which he tries an experimental treatment to kill off his sex drive as he doesn't want to hurt any children (he hasn't actually hurt any). His body reacts badly to this treatment and his health starts to seriously deteriorate. When his doctor tells Vincent to stop using the medication because it is making him sick, he replies: "Without it, I will be sick. My mind will be sick." His fear of hurting anyone innocent eventually results in the only way he knows that would rid him of this sickness as all his other attempts (even support groups) failed. (SPOILER ALERT), In the finale, Vincent loses what seems to be a fruitless self-struggle and ultimately hangs himself. Talk about a very sad ending to a very sad character...

Vincent Bourg played by Titus De Voogdt is definitely my highlight.
It is odd that I wrote about a side character more than the main characters themselves but I feel like Vincent will be a character that I will never forget about and I will remember first when I think of The Missing. 

There are other side characters with really interesting backgrounds, and are really well acted, for example the unlikable and extremely selfish journalist Malik Suri, played so well by Arsher Ali that he already earned his place on my list of "most hated characters ever!" Of course let's not forget the driven and self-sacrificing detective Julien Baptiste, portrayed wonderfully by Tchéky Karyo, who always assisted Tony with his search to find his missing son, even long after he retires. And then there is the rich, powerful and "philanthropist" Ian Garrett, portrayed by Ken Stott, who helps the Hughes family by putting up money prizes for any information on Oliver in addition to aiding the family financially. Ian Garrett is actually another extremely well written character (just like all the others are of course). He is a prime example of irony in that his overly helpful nature to complete strangers is actually balanced by a very dark and disturbing secret.

Tchéky Karyo as Julien Baptiste
The Missing is the type of show that will leave a cliffhanger after every scene, let alone episode. Forget about the next episode, you will be dying to know what happens in the next scene or what comes out of a character's mouth in the next second! It does a marvelous job of building the suspense and captivating the audience with endless turns and twists. 

With great cinematography, a breathtaking story that will keep you awake at night and last but not least performances that give meaning to the word "perfection", The Missing will be a show that I will never forget and will always cherish as it secured a cozy spot in my heart. I would definitely place it among my top 3 best dramas and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a TV show with top notch quality!

Ps, I mentioned that the finale of The Missing is quite ambiguous and open ended, there are tons of different theories out there. If anyone who reads this has seen the finale, I would like to hear your opinions.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Plants vs Zombies 2: It's About Time Gets Frostbite Caves Update!

Frostbite Caves is the 7th world in Plants vs Zombies 2: It's About Time and the latest update, introducing new plant and zombie types as well as a whole new concept to the gameplay.

Just like previous updates, Frostbite Caves will also be released in 2 parts. The first part that has just been released, currently contains 16 new levels. Once you defeat level 16, you will be awarded with a World Key to use for the next world. Please note that the 2nd part of Frostbite Caves will NOT require a World Key.

In order to unlock Frostbite Caves, you will need a World Key that is obtained from previous levels. These World Keys are automatically rewarded when you beat Gargantuar levels in each world.

Now let's talk more in depth about Frostbite Caves and its new features. As you can understand from the title of the new world, the gameplay will revolve around ice!  Our plants will get frozen from either zombies or Chilling Wind that will appear randomly and slowly freeze our plants. There will also be Sliders (blocks of ice on the platform with a zombie hand stuck inside). When zombies reach these sliders, they will automatically change lanes to where the zombie hand is pointing. The sliders can't be destroyed by any means. So you need to strategise accordingly. However, similar to Sandstorm in Ancient Egypt, zombies ambushing you during Snowstorm will ignore these sliders. So don't completely leave those lanes unprotected!

A new type of zombie, called Hunter Zombie, will be able freeze our plants, and some of our plants will get frozen in time as we face new waves (as I mentioned before). But don't worry, we have multiple ways to tackle this problem. One of the ways to "break the ice" is through a new plant that will cost 0 sun: Hot Potato! This plant also has a fast recharge time so make sure to include it as it's one of the most functional plants in this world.

Outside of Hot Potato, there are other ways to unfreeze our plants. Another new type of plant, Pepper-pult, will keep nearby plants warm and will slowly melt the ice from the frozen plants. However this plant costs a whopping 200 sun and its recharge time is quite long. Other than that, offensive plants can attack these ice blocks to destroy them but you will end up losing a lot of time trying to remove them that you will get overrun by zombies. So projectile plants such as Peashooter are among the plants I would definitely NOT recommend. You need plants with piercing attacks like Snapdragon. Snapdragon is among the best plants to use in this world, make sure to include it in every single level.

Now what happens when our plants get frozen? Well obviously they become unusable. They don't carry out their functions. For example a sunflower will stop supplying us with sun. But what's more is that the zombies will completely IGNORE these frozen plants. If you have a Walnut up and it gets frozen, the zombies will just pass as if it was non-existent. So don't get surprised like me when your Snapdragon gets eaten when you thought it was safely protected behind a frozen Walnut -.-

I have played and finished every single world now and in my opinion Frostbite Caves would definitely be on my top 3. It was incredibly entertaining and much more enjoyable than the previous world, Big Wave Beach, which I will admit, was my least favourite world in the game so far. I am very much looking forward to the 2nd part of Frostbite Caves.

Until then, enjoy the first part of the new world! :)

Monday, 15 December 2014

Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz Join the Cast of Bond Spectre!!!

Amazing news are all around us these days for some reason. The cast was announced some time ago for the new James Bond movie, dubbed Spectre, and the sheer amount of talent that is associated with this movie is certainly more than enough to make one feel dizzy. 

Hell it even almost made me stumble! Just check out these names. Ralph Fiennes, who is my ultimate favourite actor EVER, alongside new-comers Christoph Waltz and Andrew Scott!!!! I never would have thought of seeing these names together and oh boy am I chuffed at this news!!! Just seeing Ralph Fiennes and Andrew Scott right next to each other makes me go complete bonkers!

The excitement continues with the rest of the cast too as it includes Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci (another name I'm very happy to see) and David Bautista.

I'll come clean here; as I am not fond of Bond genre in particular, I only watch them just for the sake of it. However, this casting will definitely make me keep Spectre in my archives for all eternity!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Hugh Jackman to Do a Broadway Show in Turkey! AND I AM GOING!!!!!!!

Yes!!!!!!! This has to be one of my dreams come true! I found out just today that Hugh Jackman is coming to my country to do a Broadway show. After doing some extensive research, finding out how expensive the tickets are and shedding tears and sweat while arguing with mum about it; I GOT MY TICKET!!! 

It's pretty close to the stage too! Of course I wanted to get the front row but it was too expensive, 2nd row also had the same price as the front row so I picked the next best thing! The 3rd row!!!!!

This is still unbelievable to me. I just... can't.... stop... shaking! I've always wanted to see quality theatre which is something that can't be found in Turkey as writing is non-existent and acting talent is nowhere to be found. I just never thought that when I finally attended one, it would be a Broadway show starring Hugh Jackman himself! I still don't know what such a legend is doing in this country, I still can't believe it!

The event will take place on 17th and 18th of March, so there is still time but I'm glad I've secured my spot before the tickets became unavailable. I have literally 0 money left in my account but it is definitely worth it, especially as I don't usually attend these activities (there are none anyway).

I guess the next dream would be to see Andrew Scott on stage but I doubt he'll ever come to Turkey :P But again, I never thought Hugh Jackman would come, so who knows maybe in the future I will see Andrew Scott too! :P

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Andrew Scott and Pride Win Big at British Independent Film Awards 2014!!!!

Hello, I know it's been a while since my last post. I've just been enjoying the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, a little too much than I initially anticipated. I've been so busy with my freelance job and also the game lately that I am afraid I had to stop writing for a while.

However, after this let's call it "time off", I come before you with FANTASTIC news!

British Film Independent Film Award winners were announced only a couple of days ago. There are some amazing names that for some reason I feel so proud and happy to see among the winners. 

One of these names (or maybe the only name) is of course Andrew Scott for Best Supporting Actor category! Damn, I've been completely obsessed with him lately, watched all of his movies, his short films, almost everything you can imagine except his stage work. I am afraid I don't live in London, nor do I have the opportunity or the means to go to see him there; although, it would certainly be a dream come true. As someone who has seen almost all his work, I was really hoping that he would get recognized BEYOND Sherlock. And it finally happened! I'm just so happy that he is among the winners. He definitely deserves it after delivering brilliant performance after brilliant performance in whatever movie he stars in. Big congratulations to Andrew Scott :P (If anyone has a video of his acceptance speech, I'd kill to have its link :D)

Ok, it will be a tough task but let's put Andrew to the side for a bit to check out the rest of the winners. Pride, starring Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton (who also won Best Supporting Actress category) won Best British Independent Film category. Surely it was a big day for Pride and its magnificent cast. Brendon Gleeson, rightfully took home the Best Actor award for his outstanding work in Calvary. Ps, if you haven't seen Calvary yet, you are missing out on an amazing movie. Best International Independent Film award went to Boyhood, most likely one of the best if not THE best movie of 2014! Unlike the Oscars, it's great to see that the rightful nominees won their respective categories!

Here is the full list of winners:

British independent film: Pride

International independent film: Boyhood

Director: Yann Demange – ’71

Douglas Hickox award for debut director: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days on Earth

Screenplay: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan – Frank

Actress: Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle

Actor: Brendan Gleeson – Calvary

Supporting actress: Imelda Staunton – Pride

Supporting actor: Andrew Scott – Pride

Most promising newcomer: Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy

Achievement in production: The Goob

Technical achievement: Stephen Rennicks – Music – Frank

Documentary: Next Goal Wins

The Raindance award: Luna

British short: The Kármán Line

Richard Harris award: (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film) Emma Thompson

The Variety award: Benedict Cumberbatch

The special jury prize: John Boorman

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launch Times Announced!

Grommash Hellscream
5th expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor launch times have been announced by Blizzard. Here are the times for each zones.
  • North America (US) at 12:00 a.m. PST (1:00 a.m. Mountain, 2:00 a.m. CST, 3:00 a.m. EST) on Thursday, November 13
  • Oceanic will launch at the same time as the US.
  • Europe at 12:00 a.m. CET on Thursday, November 13
  • Korea at 12:00 a.m. KST on Tuesday, November 18
  • Taiwan at 12:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, November 18
  • China at 12:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, November 18
I feel bad for Asian servers to be honest. I even have a friend in China itching to play. I'm afraid they will have to wait for 5 more days before they can play the game. 

As for me? I'm starting tomorrow!!!! 

Let's speak a little bit about the storyline of this new expansion. Draenor is the Orc homeland, that was later deemed unlivable due to Gul'dan making the Orc clans drink the blood of Mannoroth. The once fertile lands died at the feet of the newly created Warlocks. 

However, in Mists of Pandaria when Garrosh escapes from the Pandarian trial, he makes his way into The Dark Portal to go back in time to warn his father, Grommash Hellscream, not to drink Mannoroth's blood to prevent the Orcs from being enslaved by the demonic forces. And then together they form the Iron Horde. This is also what we see during WoD Cinematic Trailer.

Garrosh Hellscream
As players, we will travel back in time, once again. But this time our task will be to stop the Iron Horde from invading Azeroth. We will have plenty more extras to help us in our duty such as Garrisons. Players will be able to construct buildings in these Garrisons that will help them grow an army to fight off the Iron Horde. However, despite there being 21 building types, our Garrisons will have space to fit only 10 of them in. So we'll customise and build according to our own will, bearing in mind the special bonus rewards we get from the buildings we choose.

The level cap is also being raised to 100 with Warlords of Draenor. So, there are plenty more to do! 

Are you ready for the invasion???

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Warcraft Movie Characters Revealed at Blizzcon 2014!

Finally, the news we have waited for so long is here. The Warcraft movie! We are getting so close to it that I feel like I can almost touch it! I remember waiting for it ever since I played Warcraft 1! They always made these fantasy movies of other books/games and I never understood why Warcraft didn't have a movie. Well as long as it's done perfectly I am willing to wait for 20 years! And I have waited for 20 years! This is the 20 year anniversary of Warcraft. So let's see the movie! NOW!

We have finally received some solid update on the upcoming and veeeery greatly anticipated Warcraft movie. Posters are released, movie official websites are created and most importantly, the characters that the previously announced cast will play are revealed!

Now, let's take a look at which actor will tackle which role. I will try to give very brief information about these characters and try to avoid any spoilers because well I know what will happen :) So I don't wanna ruin the whole thing for those who don't know the lore, read the books or play the game.

The Horde Characters (Of course I'll start with Horde first!!!)

Durotan: Toby Kebbell

Durotan is my most favourite Orc Chieftain. He is the leader of the Frostwolf Clan and the father of Thrall (former Warchief of the Horde). He has been the most just and honourable Chieftain among all the other clans. He has done everything in his power to protect his clan and to provide a better future for their next generations. I really can't wait to see Durotan!

I wonder who that is! :D
Orgrim: Rob Kazinzky

Orgrim is Durotan's best friend and the wielder of the legendary weapon Doomhammer before it was passed down to Thrall. He is the leader of the Doomhammer Clan. He is close to Blackhand; however, he is not particularly happy about some of the decisions Blackhand makes.

Blackhand: Clancy Brown

Blackhand the Destroyer is one of the most fearsome Orcs that we have seen. Known for his brutality and impeccable fighting skills, even the other Orcs make sure to stay out of his way. 

Gul'dan: Daniel Wu

Gul'dan is a very power hungry Warlock who created the Shadow Council to rule over the horde behind closed doors. Being a puppet of Kil'jaeden, he didn't care who would get hurt in the way in order to be rewarded by his master and become even more powerful. He is among the most evil characters in Warcraft lore and he had a big part in shaping how the Horde is today. Aiding Gul'dan is one of the greatest shames in their history.

Garona: Paula Patton

Garona is an interesting character. She is actually half Orc half Draenei. She is a powerful assassin and a spy but she changes allegiances quite often. She previously served Gul'dan.

The Alliance Characters (Pfft I'm bored already) :P

Anduin Lothar

Anduin Lothar: Travis Fimmel

Anduid Lothar is the leader of the Alliance, who has made many sacrifices in order to protect the people of Azeroth. He is the Lion of Azeroth and he has many statues devoted to him. Current Leader of the Alliance King Varian Wrynn even named his son Anduin after Anduin Lothar. He's a very well respected man and one of the best fighters of the Alliance.

King Llane Wrynn

King Llane Wrynn: Dominic Cooper

King Llane is the king of Stormwind and the father of Varian Wrynn (the current leader of the Alliance). A grand statue dedicated to his honour can be found in Stormwind Keep.

Medivh: Ben Foster

Damn I'm excited about this one! Ben Foster is among my favourite actors as well as Medivh being among my favourite lore characters. Medivh is known as the Prophet, an order that is tasked with protecting the world against the onslaught of The Burning Legion; but he is not "necessarily" a part of Alliance. Medivh is more of a neutral character. You can never know his true intentions because even he doesn't know that himself as he is in a constant state of confusion due to his spirit being possessed by the evil Titan Sargeras even before Medivh was born. He can look for peace and then the next minute he can change his mind and wage war...


Khadgar: Ben Schnetzer

Khadgar is one of the most powerful wizards of the Alliance. He was sent to Medivh to be his apprentice by Kirin Tor, an order consisting of the most powerful mages of Azeroth and he plays a big role in the Second War to prevent the destruction of Azeroth. His deeds also earned him a statute in Stormwind, Valley of Heroes.

Lady Taria: Ruth Negga

I don't know who the hell this character is. She is supposed to be King Llane Wrynn's partner and the Queen of Stormwind in the movie; but she doesn't exist in Warcraft universe... It looks like a completely made-up character.

So these are the characters. Some very major characters that we know so well are in the movie and I'm particularly excited about that. There were many speculations as to which road the Warcraft movie would take but in order to not offend anyone, they decided to make the movie 50% Horde, 50% Alliance. I'm fine with that I guess but I'd prefer to see more individuality.

But there are so many things in Warcraft universe that can't be filled into a movie.  I just hope they won't miss certain key elements in order to add a very unnecessary storyline of some made-up characters. I really don't want this brilliant lore to be ruined just to have it adapted to the big screen. Cause I'd rather not have a movie than seeing them make a huge mess of it -.-