Under the Dome – TV Review

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I watch a lot of television that I consider a bit ‘rubbishy’. I like it; a bit of a tune out, stare at the box, get to like the characters and totally suspend disbelief to put up with the ridiculous storylines. Things like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, and even Elementary. They are a fair way from the HBO and Showtime high level of television that we can expect these days, but doable. Finally, though, I think I’ve met my limit.

The plot is fairly straightforward. Small town, suddenly, a dome appears. All inside the dome are cut off from all those outside. Think The Simpsons Movie, or the Gone series of books by Michael Grant. There are a range of characters with secrets to hide – a mysterious man in town who we know has just murdered someone; a weirdo (and totally unbelievable) teenager who has gone nuts has kidnapped his very recent ex-girlfriend and is keeping her in his father’s bomb shelter; the councilor and the police chief who have a secret that involves a large delivery of propane. I have no issue with crazy storylines. It is the absolutely terrible acting and direction that is killing me.

Take the second episode. The creepy looking priest is destroying some evidence of the propane purchases. He burns them in a small bin in an office. Then, first looking at the bin, then the curtain, he walks past and kicks the bin into the curtain. Sure enough, within ten seconds, the entire house is burning down. Surprise, surprise.

By all means, I will continue watch crap television. But perhaps this is making me realise that there is a time to turn it off and get a good book.

The Mist (2007) Film Review

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**spoiler alerts**

There has been a freak storm in a small town, and David Drayton (Thomas Jane)and his son Billy (Nathan Gamble) head to the local supermarket for supplies. Whilst there, a mist takes over the town, but this is no normal mist. There are creatures in the mist. Creatures with tentacles and teeth and hunger, creatures that attack anyone who ventures outside. The townsfolk holed up in the supermarket react in different ways; some become practical and try to find ways to survive and others follow the local religious nutter, Mrs Carmody (Marcia Gray Harden) in an old testament inspired mob, sacrifices included.

It’s an awful film. By this I mean that it looks at the base nature of people, and for some people, it’s pretty horrible. It’s no surprise that it is based on a Stephen King short story – King writes awesome creatures and nasties, but also has an extremely strong grip on human nature. Yet there were a couple of major flaws in it. For me, the biggest flaw was when David decides to get a group together to run next door to the pharmacy to get supplies. At this point, he has already decided to get a group to his car and get out. But then he suddenly turns into a hero. Why? His goal was to get through with his son, and he’d seen everyone who went outside die in a horrible, violent, bloody manner. So why would he risk his life and risk leaving his son? I just didn’t believe it.

The special effects are pretty good, if quite horrible. And it is worth watching to see an end that you would absolutely not expect from a Hollywood film.