Martin Odum – who may or may not actually be Martin Odum – will be back for a second season. TNT has given Legends a ten-episode second season. So it may be awhile before series star Sean Bean adds to that impressive death reel on YouTube!
Bean’s Odum, of course, is a master at sliding into new identities – called legends – to do undercover work as a member of the FBI’s Deep Cover Operations (DCO) division. When he is told by a mysterious man – with his dying breath, no less, that Martin Odum is a legend, he begins to have doubts about his real identity.
Legends (TNT, Wednesdays, 9/8C) stars Sean Bean as Martin Odum, possibly the best undercover operative the FBI has ever had – though this evaluation comes one FBI psychiatrist where three others have determined he should never be allowed to go into the field again. Problem is, he is this close to finding out who’s the leader of a militant group planning an action that will make 9/11 look like a firecracker.
A brief office encounter between an executive and his new temp turns into one of the well-done stalker movies of our time. Derek Charles has it all. A new house in the suburbs, a lovely wife, a young son, and a great job as an asset manager who has just been promoted within his company. His life could not have been better. That is until one day, a new temp named Lisa was assigned to his office. At first, she adapts quickly to her new office environment and proves to be more efficient than most other secretaries in his office. Then, an evening at the office Christmas party, things start to unravel between Lisa and Derek. Lisa starts to put moves on Derek and begins her deadly obsession with her boss which jeopardizes everything that Derek Charles has worked for. Obsession combines a lot of classic movie elements. It’s the classic new secretary meets her boss.
I originally wasn’t going to write a review this weekend because it was pretty slim pickens at the box office, but I was so bored Sunday that I broke down and caught a matinee of Obsessed. What do you get when you put two of Hollywood’s worst actresses, Beyoncé Knowles and Ali Larter in the same movie? You get a surprisingly decent little paint by the numbers thriller. Now in Beyonce’s defense she’s a great singer who is desperately trying to be an actress, Ali has no defense, she’s beautiful eye-candy but even that wore thin a long time ago. My initial issue with Obsessed is that, based on the trailers I knew exactly what kind of movie this was and there was no way it was going to surprise me, I would probably like it on DVD but to spend real money and time seeing it in a theater. Nah, no way. But like I said it was either this, "Fighting," or nothing. I originally chose nothing.
Once you get past how this is a paint by the numbers affair with an ending that you see a mile away, it is a really nice glossy looking film that clearly had a nice size budget and cool soundtrack. Downtown LA looks as shiny and plastic as ever. Why is it whenever I’m in LA the city looks dirty, dingy, and kind of disgusting? The problem I have with the crazy, delusional woman movie cliché is that I never buy into the obsession. There’s no reason for Lisa (Ali Larter) to instantly become obsessed with Derek (Idris Elba). I mean yeah he’s a great looking, successful Executive Vice President of a major financial institution and an awesome guy on top of everything else, but for her to fall for him the instant she sees him in an elevator? I’m a skeptic, I don’t believe in love at first sight. But again, Lisa’s a crazy…. Which is how writer David Loughery explains every implausible thing Lisa does. After awhile I didn’t question anything, I just said, "Oh yeah, right, Lisa’s a crazy…."
Director Steve Shill (primarily a television show director) takes a big chance resting an entire movie on the performance of Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles. And both actresses actually rise to the occasion. I don’t think either one of them really have a good on-screen presence but Larter really makes this role work for her. The pacing was just about right, scenes didn’t feel overly long and we didn’t have to put up with long doses of either Knowles or Larter. Just when you start thinking, oh god how much longer is this movie, the scene moves to another character. While Obsessed is about Larter’s character, we get her in "seemingly" small doses. She sashays into a scene and then leaves for awhile but her presence is always felt. Lots of shots of her just standing around in the office and preening before the camera, not much of her actually talking (which is a good thing). The inevitable confrontation between Sharon (Beyonce) and Lisa is a decent catfight. I would have liked it to be more over the top violent, other than that, this movie is exactly what you would expect it to be.
Final Grade B-
EM Review By Michelle Alexandria Originally posted 04.26.09
Tim Kring and his creative team on Heroes [Mondays, 8/7C] have heard their show’s fans. Heroes returns with one helluva bang, giving us the answer to last season’s cliffhanger – who shot Nathan Petrelli [Adrian Pasdar] – inside of the first ninety seconds of the season three premiere. The premiere, The Second Coming/The Butterfly Effect, promises to be one of the more electrifying two hours of the new season [only the first hour was sent out for review].
One thing that remains constant is the show’s multiple character arcs that intersect in odd and unexpected ways. Thus, we find Matt Parkman [Greg Grunberg] in a desert; skip to a future confrontation from a very dark [brunette, actually] Claire and Peter, and meet a character named Tracey Strauss [Ali Larter] who looks exactly like Niki Sanders whom we were pretty sure had died in that exploding building in last season’s finale. Then there’s the character who returns from the grave; an encounter between the present-day Claire [Hayden Panettiere] and Sylar [Zachary Quinto] that doesn’t go the way anyone [except Tim Kring, who wrote the script] could have imagined. To cap it all off, there are the prisoners of Level 5 – and Noah Bennett [Jack Coleman] still channelling Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.
One of the things that Heroes does best – when it’s on form, and it’s on form here – is juggle multiple plot and character arcs. Volume Three: Villains looks to be the most complex volume in the series, thus far, and yet none of the characters seems to be short changed. Even odd pairings, like Suresh [Sendhil Ramamurthy] and Maya [Dania Ramirez] work – and it’s the first time since her introduction that Maya doesn’t drain the life out of her scenes. The show’s FX are in good form, too. Hiro’s [Masi Oka] arch-enemy. A young speedster named Daphne [Brea Grant] is handled extremely well by the FX team, and Grant brings an impish sense of fun to the character.
If you lost interest in Heroes last season, or stuck with it but thought it opened too slowly, you’ll find season three a real rush [and not just in the sense of Daphne’s superspeed]. If you need to brush up on what’s happened, so far, there is a special one-hour summary episode that immediately precedes the third season premiere.
I’m a gamer and have covered the game industry for as long as I covered the film industry and just like the film industry I have a tendency to go my own way and be contrarian. When the Resident Evil series first launched and everyone raved about the game, I was the lone voice that intensely disliked it. And up until Resident Evil 4 (a near perfect game), I’ve never liked the Resident Evil Series.But it’s interesting that while I never particularly cared for the games, I really dug the films – which admittedly most people hate, primarily because it’s different enough from the games, but still pays homage to them.For instance I marked out to the ending of the first Resident Evil because it was an exact replica of the game trailer for RE2.And hey I just like Milla Jovovich (Alice) so sue me. Continue reading Resident Evil: Extinction Is Not Bad. Michelle Alexandria’s Review!→