twiinklex ❤

Bad decisions make good stories. And I always have a good story.

Category: Pop culture reviews

Harper’s Island

Can’t be bothered to hide spoilers so don’t read if you are planning to watch. Won’t explicitly mention names or reveal the killer’s identity but still. You have been warned.

harper's island

13 weeks. 25 suspects. 1 killer.

Finished watching Harper’s Island in less than 24 hours awhile back and thought I’d blog about it. Frankly speaking, I was kinda disappointed because I had very high expectations (as usual, but why should I lower them or settle for second best. If everyone raves about it, then it should live up to its hype). I expected something mindblowing like Identity (2003), unforgettable like A Perfect Getaway (2009), and addictive like Vampire Diaries. Unfortunately it was anything but.

Watched it so quickly not cos I was hooked but rather, I wanted to finish everything so that I could remove it from my laptop. Dislike the feeling of clutter on my laptop so I tend to delete everything once I don’t need them anymore. I even stupidly deleted all my schoolwork because I forgot about building a portfolio but nvm.


– Everyone and no one feels like a suspect
– The next victim could be anyone
– Good buildup of fear in the middle
– Episodes are named after the sounds of how people die in that particular ep
– Some death scenes were actually sad (many were scientifically impossible/illogical)
– I got distracted and thrown off the tracks for a bit
– 3 dreamboats that are very pleasant to the eye

Gosh I love seeing them, especially the first two ❤_❤

Speaking of which, the show failed to make me particularly attached to any of the characters. I only liked 4 of them. Didn’t like Abby (main female character) very much, even wished she would just leave the island. Only rooted for one couple. Weak character-building that used stereotypes rather than slowly developing the characters. Only the more significant few were given a backstory.

Not enough focus on the island’s history as well. I expected a lot more flashbacks but there were hardly any. It’s always the same one about how 7 years ago, the murders took place. We see all these people whose faces are hardly shown being strung up on the tree, and then it zooms in onto Abby’s dead mother.

If you are going to write a show about the island’s history repeating itself, then shouldn’t you give the audience more insight into the particular history? If you claim that the modus operandi of the murderer is exactly the same 7 years ago and now, then I expect details on the similarities. In present day, people died in so many different ways and yet all I know about 7 years ago is that a bunch of people were strung up on a tree. How is this a copycat murder?

I thought maybe in the final episode when they were about to reveal the killer, Abby or someone would find all her friends strung up on a tree, their fates and bodies finally revealed. At least then there would be a link to 7 years ago, not just the similarity of people dying one by one.

I mean, not all the bodies were discovered even at the end. The characters hardly knew when someone died, they just bought the “returned back to town” or “MIA” excuse. Only when it’s clear that they were the small group left surviving did they assume that everyone else is dead.

Harper's Island

Another thing I expected to see was a flashback of how the murderer committed all the killings when his identity was revealed. You know, like in the movies. No such luck. And since there were 2 muderers and so many pranks + accidents, I had to figure out for myself who was the one responsible for this death, which other characters pulled the pranks, and who actually died by accident.

This flashback was like the “make it or break it” moment for me. The moment where I get blown away as we go back to see all the signs and how each murder was carried out. But it didn’t even exist. We didn’t even get to witness the some of the murders. A dead body could suddenly appear in the tunnel. Wow, how did she disapper and when? I guess we will never know. So don’t expect me to buy the story of how the murderer was clever enough to get rid of everybody one by one without being caught if I didn’t get to see it myself.

Most importantly, don’t expect me to buy the murder motive. This was what disappointed me the most. After a reasonably good buildup of 12 episodes, you tell me in the 13th that he did it all for love. That he killed everyone so that she would not have anyone left but him and hence his love will be requited. Is this a joke? I’m not convinced at all. Talk about a weak motive. Understatement of the century in all of murder-verse.

Not even sure if he had a personality disorder of sorts because the trouble he went through just to get the girl is simply unbelievable. If he had any, it definitely only surfaced in the finale episode, trust me.

I thought it was terrible enough that it turned out the first murderer from 7 years ago wasn’t dead at all. No surprise there either. The story kinda went downhill from there when he made his appearance. Ugh his character was just plain redundant. It took away whatever awesomeness the second murderer’s character had since now we know 2 people were behind everything.

Brings me back to point of how the storyline is not very smart at all. Since we didn’t witness every murder, it could be either killer who was responsible for a certain death. Oh, the second killer has an alias? Well, then just take it that the first murderer was behind it. He seems inconspicious? Oh that’s because it wasn’t him, hahahaha. Just NO.

There shouldn’t have been more than one murderer but I guess they can’t achieve that without making the motive and storyline dumber. This is why I say they should have worked more on everybody’s backstory. I wouldn’t mind watching more episodes if it guaranteed a satisfying show.

Of course, there is the character which they used as the “red herring” to throw everyone off the tracks. Okay, I fell for it myself. But I thought it was kinda silly how they didn’t even bother being subtle about it, just shoved it all in your face in one episode. At least put in some effort with foreshadowing if you wanna lead people into believing that this is the murderer.

Not all loose ends were neatly tied up either, leading to a sloppy storyline with plotholes. If you are going to throw a red herring in our faces, then explain the reasons why it’s not actually him. For example, he escapes death on more than one occasion. The first time was apparently because someone traded his life for his. What about the rest?

Ok, maybe the killer is simply a man of his word and promises not to touch the red herring at all. Other than making him the scapegoat. Which is enough reason to keep him alive until the killer’s real identity is revealed. However, it seems really doubtful that he is obviously in the murderer’s way of getting the girl, being her direct love interest for all 13 episodes, but he gets to survive. So you painstakingly plan the murder of 20+ people for this girl, yet leave the biggest threat to your goal alone?

Nothing mentioned about the locals who survived, or the creepy girl staring at Abby from inside the store when she went to collect her scrapbook. Nor the precious little dog who is seen scurrying about here and there. More plotholes, if you are interested [x]

Most annoying and hated character goes to…

Madison Allen

Stupid little bitch has to be held responsible for some of the deaths but yet none of the characters even blamed her and her idiotic mom kept shielding her. Not only does she get really spooky at times, breaks precious china and then claims it wasn’t here like there’s some supernatural element creeping around (there isn’t), but she lies and hides the truth for goodness knows what reason. Hence rescue was delayed for some characters, indirectly causing their death. If it weren’t for her, the rest probably could have figured out the truth quickly. But she still keeps lying!!!!

Stupid little shithead, I hate her. Funny thing is the useless and annoying people survived, while my favourite characters got the worst of the lot and died really heartbreaking deaths. I think she’s the most universally hated character on the show despite her young age. I don’t sympathise with her at all.

Favourite thing about the show…

Harper's Island

Chemistry, checked. Character development, checked. Humour, checked. Heartbreak, checked.

Love all their scenes together, it’s like they are the only thing that made sense on the whole show. At first, we all thought Chloe (the only likeable female character, tbh) was this flirty bimbo who didn’t care much for Cal but it turned out we were wrong and it’s apparent she cared very much about him. As the show went no, their relationship grew stronger.

A strong, non-wishy-washy, outgoing female who knew very well what she wanted (if it were me, I probably wouldn’t be able to choose between Cal and Sully hahaha), and her “cute little Englishman (oh, that accent). Love how they pranked Sully with feathers, love how they sntached their ring back in the bar, love how he told her to keep the ring for him because he had something to ask her when he returned, love how he was so determined to save her, etc. Every scene with them is either funny or emotional.

Their presence brightened up the whole show; the heart and soul of Harper’s Island. For me, anyway.

Saddest death goes to…

Matt Barr

Your face, baby. Your face. That moment when disbelief, betrayal, hurt and realisation flashes across your face all at once. You got stabbed in the back, literally and figuratively. One of the best characters in the show who slowly stole the show. If Chloe and Cal’s deaths were painful, yours ripped my heart out, trampled all over it and then shoved it back down my throat. Thank you for being so kickass and righteous and loyal.

Cons in a nutshell:

– Weak characterisation
– Unconvincing murder motive
– Lack of subtle foreshadowing
– Insufficient focus on island’s history
– Sloppy, unpolished murder storyline
– Abrupt ending lacking closure
– Hardly any cliffhangers (my idea of cliffies has been unrealistically high after TVD)

As a murder thriller, the cons definitely outweighed the pros. Just as well that it’s only 13 episodes. I would hate being strung along even futher for such a crappy ending. Honestly, if would be so much better if the murder motive was different. It could have gone so many ways!

Can’t believe this turned out so long, critical and harsh. The more I wrote, the more flaws I noticed. I haven’t even read reviews on other sites to see what other people thought. But seeing that I rated the show a 7/10 on IMDb after finishing it, it’s definitely not all that bad for a mini TV series. It was entertaining and I didn’t not enjoy it 🙂

Amazed at the time I spent writing this and editing all the pictures looool
Can I just marry Sully already. Or Jimmy. Shhh don’t tell Damon.

harper's island characters

Marvel’s The Avengers

The Avengers

Caught this twice in theatres aka a very rare occurrence for me. The only other movie I watched twice in theatres was I Am Number Four because I had nothing better to do. Anw there are a lot of things I respect and love about The Avengers, so I just thought I’d write about it!

First of all, can I just say how much I love that the film title is “Marvel’s The Avengers” instead of just “The Avengers”? It means so much because you are acknowledging Marvel Comics for creating these awesome characters, characters brought to life in film.

Avengers cast

And the cast! I think I actually love this cast more than The Hunger Games cast (for the first film anyway). I have never watched the individual superhero movies (Thor, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man etc) at all before but that makes me unbiased toward The Avengers and able to judge it as a film on its own, no? 🙂

Or it could also be because some of them have starred in other films that I love. Chris Hemsworth (A Perfect Getaway), Mark Ruffalo (13 Going On 30, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Shutter Island), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse, Midnight In Paris), Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later omg ily – see pic below). And of course it doesn’t hurt that everyone is good-looking 😀

Jeremy Renner

Oh and the fact the they, the original actors for their individual superhero films (other than Hulk I think?), came together for The Avengers? Utmost respect. Well anyway, on to the film.

Not sure if I was tired or what but I was half asleep during the first hour the first time I watched it. Thought there was a bit too much talking (but I did understand the purpose of this buildup). I did love everything else and it would be around a high 8/10. Paid close attention to everything the second time and absorbed the dialogue and now it’s been boosted to a near 10/10 aka something I can watch over and over again.

First half of the film was spent introducing all 6 Avengers and giving them a back story, through flashbacks etc. Good for people like me who know nothing about these superheroes. Everyone has a distinct personality and their own unique abilties which are shown to be put in good use during the film.

For instance, Black Widow doesn’t have superpowers but she’s skilled in interrogation, and in the movie she has displayed this skill at least twice and the villians themselves think they have the upperhand, without even realising that they are giving Black Widow all the information she wants. And with that, she breaks through the female stereotype that is included to ‘make everything look less gay’.

Black Widow

Heard that Black Widow and Hawkeye actually pale in comparison to the other heroes in the comics but I think the film did a wonderful job in portraying them! They aren’t technically heroes or gods but they shine just as much as the rest in the film. In fact if I had to pick a favourite, it would be Hawkeye but that could have something to do with Jeremy Renner hehehe.



Love how each and every character gets enough screentime, even the less significant ones like the other agents. Felt quite sad at the part where Phil fought even till his last breath and what Nick Fury said about him still having faith. Though I wish that the thing about Phil’s vintage card collection was real and not deliberate!

And how Nick Fury makes his own decisions and defies his superiors for what he think is right. He himself put faith in the Avengers too and I think there is a lot to be learnt from his character as well. The right thing to do is not always the easiest and not everyone will agree with you but it’s your choice, your call, and you see through it.

People like Phil and Nick show that you don’t have to have powers, be immortal, or be a lead character to achieve greatness. Phil’s death was sad but also an integral influence in bringing The Avengers together as a team. As for Nick, he defied his superiors to stand up for what he felt was right and his faith. Sometimes, faith is just what people need.

Nick Fury

While it is not an uncommon “structure”, I did like how you think it’s just the hero versus villian but in the end the third party turns out to be the actual villian. In this case, the third party was the government who was later revealed to have started the whole mess due to their desire to build nuclear weapons of mass destruction with the Tesseract. (Safe House, anyone?)

As usual, my favourite is the psychological aspect. Despite having background info on each Avenger solely from this film (even till now I haven’t Wiki-ed them), it was enough for me to identify each Avenger’s inner demon and weakness. Not very sure for some but I think the most significant ones were Hulk and Iron Man. Love how everyone managed to overcome their own demons in the end.

  • Iron Man: Captain America said that Iron Man only fights for himself when they were arguing. But at the end of the film, Iron Man was prepared to sacrificed himself to save the city from destruction by the missile. He was warned that it would be a “one-way” trip but he went anyway and I nearly cried when I thought he was going to die. Though there was this glimmer of hope inside me that said they wouldn’t kill him off because The Avengers is supposed to be all 6 of them.
  • Hulk: He hates who he is so much to the extent that he refers to his Hulk self as “the other person” and even tried killing himself. He loses control easily which Loki makes use of. Yet by the end of the film he has accepted himself for who he is, and able to admit that he “is always angry”. With this admittance and acceptance, he can finally control this anger. At the start he tells one of the Avengers that he is “exposed” and has no armor and basically useless, but we have all seen what he is capable off. He is perceived by everyone to be the strongest of the team (“We have a Hulk”). His brute strength has fended off loads of the army freaks, beaten Loki into submission, and it was also him who saved Iron Man.
  • Captain America: Out of all 6, I think his backstory is the most unclear to me. Ice jokes aside, what I know so far is that he is a war soldier who got experimented on but he was asleep for 70 years in ice because of a self-sacrifice or what? Anyway I’m guessing his biggest problem is that he can’t really grasp the new ways of people and their thinking after being asleep for 7o years. About fighting, war, etc. Not very sure but I get that vibe.
  • Thor: He feels that it is his fault that Loki comes to Earth wanting to rule it (stemmed off from his being rejected by his father and following Thor to Earth for revenge??). The brothers are estranged but in the end, they return to Asgard aka “home” together.
  • Loki: Feels rejected by his family and overwhemled with desire to rule but lacks conviction. I think there was this one little scene where he did look like he saw the error of his ways but according to him, “it’s too late” or something. But I think he gets it and anyway he goes back with his brother in the end.
  • Black Widow: Wants to erase all the “red” and bad records she has (it’s her interrogation tactic but it’s still true) and even though we didn’t see all the bad thing she did, no flashbacks or anything, but from Loki’s words we understand the extent of her misdeeds. But I feel that by the end of the movie she feels that she has redeemed herself and is no longer that haunted by the past.
  • Hawkeye: Is compromised, kils a lot of his own people. So imagine the guilt that comes with that but I think he’s able to not let it consume him, especially with Black Widow’s encouragement.

Like what Loki said to Black Widow, there are things you try to forget, but they always stay with you. It’s learning to come to terms with stuff and accepting it as part of who you are. Nice seeing all of them having conquered the thorns in their hearts instead of being consumed by them.

By the way, was Phil’s comment to Captain America about having watched him sleep a dig at Twilght?
Hahaha plus points to that!

Minor references to the individual superhero films here and there if I deduced correctly, but not too many or foreign to understand. But at the same time it’s like sort of a treat to fans who have seen the superhero films? Witty dialogue with the right amount of humour as well.

Loki The Hulk

Love this too much to not post here!

It’s also a film of depth because it’s not just heroes saving the day and yay, you know? At one of the ending scenes, the film discussed the everlasting argument of whether superheroes are actually heroes or causing destruction. They didn’t go into it since that wasn’t the focus of the storyline but I think it was a nice touch.

It was discussed in the form of newflash(es) where people are being interviewed. Some worship the Avengers to the extent of getting tattoos, masks and beards. Then we have the cynical and skeptical people. Pretty wholesome. It’s not a war film and I don’t actually consider it a “war” in technical terms, but they actually briefly approached the issue of the after-effects of war and destruction.

Prior to this scene, during the epic finale battle, I was already thinking if they would talk about the destruction caused. So imagine my delight when they did!

And then on to the battle. Freaking epic and totally up to what I expect from a superhero film. Not to mention how classic I find the part where all 6 Avengers stood tall together. It just says so much. Working together as a team despite their extremely different personalities, being courageous and prepared to die.

The Avengers battle

Just love this part so much. It lasts a mere few seconds but I still find it a classic. A classic scene to me is one that really stands out brilliantly in a film, one that you will always remember. For example, many people consider the scene where Rose and Jack in Titanic stand on the deck under the sunset a classic (I do too).

And the final scene of the Stark Tower with only the “A” lit up? Most flawless and best way to end the film ever, I can’t think of anything better. It basically sums up the film in whole. A for Avengers – you remarkable people are an even more remarkable team.

Amazing closing sequence too (click to see), one of the best I’ve seen (Girl With he Dragon Tattoo has an amazing opening sequence). Probably a lot of work but I always wonder why don’t all movies put effort into the opening and closing sequences too because to me, it’s worth a lot of extra points 😀

Pretty sad the scene where all 6 Avengers go for a meal together as suggested by Iron Man when he regained consciousness was cut off wtf. Aparently everyone was quiet and it was an awkward meal since they weren’t proper friends to begin with hahaha.

The Avengers post credits

All in all, The Avengers has everything I expect to see in a superhero film and more, portrayed in 143 minutes. Truly impressive. I thought I may be liking and praising the film too much, but I just checked IMDB and itranks #31 on the Top 250 Chart. Fucking impressive for a film that is still showing in theatres!

[All stills edited by me. Lazy to link and credit all gifs individually, but you can find them on The Avengers tag on my Tumblr.]