Hanna Season 2 Episode 3: To the Meadows Recap

Hanna S2Ep3 Terri & Clara Look at File

In episode 3, the adults and kids work on their trust issues while Terri tries to help Clara find her place at The Meadows, Marissa and Hanna track a drug shipment and Leo guides Sandy through using her new religion to help work through her issues with Clara. Carmichael supervises Sonia’s investigation of Hanna’s mayhem at the Passway facility.

Recap

Carmichael watches the trainees out in the exercise yard while listening to a news report about the incident that Hanna caused at Passway Pharmaceuticals in Belgium. Two people are dead, but Passway is denying all responsibility. Police assume the real Monica Gastner, the young woman whose identity Hanna stole to get into the trial, was the woman actually at the facility, so they’ve taken her into custody.

Carmichael calls Louis Dumont, the Director of Passway Pharmaceuticals, who’s sent him Monica’s file. Monica has a history of anxiety and depression, but no previous record of violence. The police have been at Passway all night questioning people. Dumont says that he’s kept them away from the area where Carmichael’s drug shipment for the The Meadows is stored, so it’s not in jeopardy. Carmichael doesn’t want to take any chances, telling Dumont to move up the shipment and take care of it personally.

Continue reading “Hanna Season 2 Episode 3: To the Meadows Recap”

Hanna Season 2 Episode 1: Safe Recap

mv5bogiwytq5nwuty2e1ns00y2m2ltk0mzytzjg1yjmyymm5njqyxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyodq2mzq0mdc40._v1_sy1000_cr0014991000_al_

Hanna, the series based on the 2011 film of the same name, returns for its second 8 episode season on Prime Video. Season 2 picks up not long after the end of season 1 and follows Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) and her new sister, Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince), as they try to survive on their own in the Romanian forest without Hanna’s adopted father, Erik (Joel Kinnaman).

S1 Big Bad Marissa (Mireille Enos) is still involved with Utrax and is soon brought back into Hanna’s orbit. She’s also asked to consult in the new school that the rest of the Utrax trainees have been taken to, where they undergo socialization training so they can blend in when deployed as assassins. The trainees are given new identities and carefully managed by John Carmichael (Dermot Mulroney), the director of The Meadows, and his team of operatives.

While S2 still has plenty of action and movement across Europe, it’s focus is on the characters’ struggles with their identities and finding (or holding onto) their places in the world. S1 introduced us to Hanna when she was new to the outside world, as she struggled to make sense of herself  and the urban forest environment she was plunged into, while wars were fought around her and over her.

In S2, Hanna understands her own abilities and history, at least according to Erik’s perspective. Now she’s discovering for her herself how she might fit into the world outside the forest. Marissa goes through a similar struggle as she continues to dig deeper into the truth about Utrax. She faces more decisions about what she’s willing to live with and what she needs to fight for. 

Continue reading “Hanna Season 2 Episode 1: Safe Recap”

Movie Review: One Child Nation

mv5bndi3nwi0y2utzdriyy00ztg5lwizzdqtn2zmm2fmywviywq5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyode1mjmynzi40._v1_sy1000_cr006971000_al_One Child Nation * 2019 * Rated R * 1 Hour 28 Minutes

😸😸😸😸½  Rated 4 1/2 out of 5 Happy Lap Cats

One Child Nation is a very personal documentary, made by director Nanfu Wang when she had her own first child and began to seriously consider, for the first time, the implications of China’s one child policy, which she had been born and raised under. Wang had relocated to the US years before her son was born, so her pregnancy was unaffected by the harsh government program, which was in force from 1979 to 2015. But the internalized trauma from growing up in that environment, from events she didn’t even realize she’d absorbed, began to affect her attitude toward her own pregnancy, so she set out to examine the wide-ranging effects of China’s long-term push to gain control of its population size.

Continue reading “Movie Review: One Child Nation”

The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 2: Every Door Out… Recap

High Castle S4Ep2 Mengele & John.png

“Every door out… is a door in.” In season 4, episode 2, Dr Mengele and his portal experiments return. The program has advanced significantly in the last year, with regular teams of Nazi spies making the trip to the Alt-World for both espionage and sabotage. Thanks to Hawthorne Abendsen and the Reich’s enhanced interrogation methods, Mengele has also made a map of the multiverse. John Smith understands the potential waiting for them in each world- if the Nazis can send someone to a new world, that world can send someone to the High Castle world as well. Everyplace is a potential threat.

Including schools and homes in the American Reich, since children have been taught to spy on and turn in their loved ones. Some, like Amy, are very enthusiastic about enforcing the rules. Jennifer isn’t happy about being back in the Reich, so John has to play referee between his two daughters to keep them both alive.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 4 Episode 2: Every Door Out… Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap

mv5bmje1ndy1nzk2of5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjc4mtmxnze40._v1_sy1000_cr0014441000_al_

Buckle up, Buttercups, it’s VA Day in the Reich and things are about to get crazy. Obergruppenführer John Smith has not just one, but two potential traitors over for dinner with the family, Joe Blake and Rudolph Wegener. He has ulterior motives with both, because when does he not? Juliana begins her job at the Nippon building and learns she’s working in the office of Trade Minister Tagomi.

Recap

It’s VA Day and every house in the neighborhood is proudly flying the swastika and stripes. Joe arrives at the Smith house with a bouquet of flowers for Helen and is introduced to the whole family, including the dog, Max. He mentions that he saw John in the parade earlier in the day. Thomas offers to show Joe around. It’s obvious that life couldn’t be better in the American Reich.

Over in the JPS, Juliana finishes dressing for her new job, just as Frank wakes up. She asks how the memorial service was and he says it was fake. She thinks they need to spend some time together, but he doesn’t want to make her late for the dojo, so she suggests they plan on dinner. Frank asks if he heard her on the phone earlier. As she’s walking out the door, Juliana says it was a wrong number.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 6: Three Monkeys Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 4: Revelations Recap

mv5bntezmjq4mzy2m15bml5banbnxkftztgwodq4mtmxnze40._v1_sy1000_cr0014441000_al_

Things take a major turn in episode 4 of The Man on the High Castle, as Frank seeks out illegal bullets for his gun and Ed desperately tries to stop Frank from following the suicidal path he’s on. Juliana and Joe continue to battle the Marshal and also confront Lem. Tagomi and Wegener attempt to complete their plan during the crown prince’s speech. Obergruppenführer Smith and Captain Connolly continue their search for the traitor who leaked Smith’s location, but lose their best potential source of information.

Recap

The episode opens moments after the end of episode 3, with The Marshal following Juliana into her hiding place. They play hide and seek until Joe catches up with the Marshal and knocks him out using a blunt object. With the Marshal unconscious on the floor, Joe and Juliana run back outside.

Joe’s truck is gone, so they find another storefront to hide in. The Marshal follows them outside within another minute. The guy who helped him earlier tells him they drove out of town in Joe’s truck. After the Marshal leaves town to follow them, the guy tells Joe and Juliana where he moved Joe’s truck and where they can find Lem.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 1 Episode 4: Revelations Recap”

The Man in the High Castle Season 4: Official Trailer and Sneak Peek

mv5bzje4mmuzzdqtmdy4os00ndm4lwe3yzctnjq4ndnkmtiyzdrhxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymzy0mte3nzu40._v1_sy1000_sx1000_al_

Amazon Prime Video has released a full length trailer for the upcoming final season of their alternate history series The Man in the High Castle. It’s packed with action and intrigue, giving viewers a glimpse into multiple realities. The future of the the series’ prime reality is at stake, and the trailer reveals the main characters who will decide its fate.

All episodes of season 4, the series’ wrap up, will be released on November 15, 2019.

Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle Season 4: Official Trailer and Sneak Peek”

Movie Review: The History of Time Travel

mv5bnjgyndu5mtq4ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwodi3mzy3mje40._v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_

The History of Time Travel * 2014 * Ages 13+ * 1 Hour 11 Minutes

😸😸😸😸🌑 4 Happy Lap Cats

“One small step for Russia, one giant leap for Communism.”

The History of Time Travel is a quiet, low budget fictional documentary that asks the question, “What would happen if time travel were developed secretly, for personal reasons, by a single family of scientists? Would anyone notice the changes?” It answers the question as the documentary is being made, in small increments, that require the viewer to keep up with the details of the storyline. Easter eggs abound, as the story plays out on both the intimate scale of a family drama and the large scale of 20th century history.

The story is told through fake interviews, staged photographs and stock footage. The science of time and time travel are explained early on. We’re introduced to physicist Dr Edward Page (Daniel W May), who’s assigned to work on the secret Indiana Project during World War 2 after President Roosevelt is informed that the Germans are disturbingly close to developing time travel. Dr Page works diligently on the project throughout the war, becoming obsessed with his subject and ignoring his family.

Continue reading “Movie Review: The History of Time Travel”

Undone Season 1 Episode 2: The Hospital Recap

Undone S1Ep2 Again

In Undone episode 2, Alma wakes up in the hospital after her accident and discovers she’s been in a coma for a few days or weeks due to the severe head injury she sustained at the beginning and end of episode 1. Episode 2 is where the nonlinear storytelling aspect of Undone is at its peak, showing off the flexibility that the animation techniques used in the visuals give the narrative.

Cool as the visuals are, pay close attention to the use of sound in the episode as well. Alma’s hearing impairment isn’t just a plot device and the various environmental sounds in each episode aren’t just cool effects. Information is being warped and kept from Alma, by herself and by the other characters, and it’s through sound that we’re sometimes made aware of the missing facts.

Recap

Episode 2 begins with an overhead view of Alma’s accident from up in the sky, which gradually descends to ground level, then into the car, then focuses on her unconscious face. She’s slumped over the steering wheel, her forehead dripping blood, one arm thrown up over her head to try to break the impact. We can hear static from Alma’s cochlear implant, ominous musical tones and one long, high pitched whine, like the sound a heart monitor makes when a patient flatlines.

It could be feedback from the implant malfunctioning or tinnitus from Alma’s injuries. Or it could be that Alma flatlined. We’re never clearly told what her injuries were or how long her coma was. Though the narration appears to come from outside of Alma, there are strong signals in this episode that we always, and only, see what she sees and know what she knows, through her altered point of view.

Continue reading “Undone Season 1 Episode 2: The Hospital Recap”

Prime Video’s Undone Season 1 Review/Episode 1: The Crash Recap

undone-key-art-rosa-salazar-amazon-prime-video

Prime Video’s new animated series for adults, Undone, is a unique show that explores mind-bending themes, mental health and family drama in 8 short, 22-24 minute long episodes, making the most of its stellar cast and experienced animation team in each episode. Creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy (BoJack Horseman) used the animation technique of rotoscoping to give the series a surreal quality that takes it a step beyond magical realism.

Rotoscoping involves filming the actors in live action, then tracing over the filmed images to create a polished animated product. Undone is the first serialized TV series to be fully animated using rotoscoping. Probably its most famous previous use was in the film A Scanner Darkly. The same team, Minnow Mountain, did the rotoscoping on both that film and Undone.

Undone is the story of Alma Winograd-Diaz (Rosa Salazar), a young woman who is struggling with her goals and identity, in addition to the lingering trauma from her father Jacob’s (Bob Odenkirk) death when she was a child. Outwardly, her life seems Happy and Fine. She lives with her nice boyfriend, Sam (Siddharth Dhananjay), and has a decent job at a daycare center, working with her good friend and boss, Tunde (Daveed Diggs). (Who wouldn’t want to work with the voice of Daveed Diggs?)

Continue reading “Prime Video’s Undone Season 1 Review/Episode 1: The Crash Recap”