Category : Reviews

‘Revolution’ – Episode 1×05 “Soul Train” – Review

Last week proved Revolution isn’t afraid of hitting us where it hurts. Killing off Maggie was shocking, and revealing Rachel’s true allegiance was less so, but it packed a punch. This week the show continues to build tension without ever going overboard.

Revolution 1x05 Soul Train 019 300x199 Revolution   Episode 1x05 Soul Train   Review

Photo by: Brownie Harris/NBC

“Soul Train” starts off with what is becoming my favorite dynamic of the show: the relationship between Neville and Danny. The militia leader owes Danny a debt of gratitude after the captive saved his life, but of course he won’t recognize this. Whatever is happening here is deeper than just Neville leading the boy back to Monroe. Revolution may be about Charlie and Miles, but Danny definitely will play a major role as this series progresses. A compelling wrinkle to this aspect was Neville’s flashback. He was a complete pushover and fired the day of the blackout. He even warns his son (spoiler alert: who is Nate, the young militia boy tailing the group) while hitting a punching bag: “We only hit the bag, never people.” Guess the blackout changed that.

Neville continues to drive this episode when he meets Charlie. The friendly captain doesn’t know who she is, but he soon learns exactly who she is after she foolishly tails him. As big as the former America is, all of the main characters sure do bump into each other a lot. Sure, the good guys are tailing the bad guys, but is it really that easy?

Nora, the rebel/patriot, goes to a bookmaker looking for a “biography of Joe Biden”—a secret code that made me laugh. Hutch, the bookmaker, is enlisted by Nora to blow up a working train that’s headed for Philadelphia and Monroe’s headquarters. Of course there is an internal struggle among the group, as Danny will be on the train and will most likely die if the bomb goes off.

Everything plays out exactly as you think it would. This episode was the tale of close calls. Miles and Charlie get on the train with separate missions. Miles has to diffuse the bomb, and Charlie must find her brother. Miles’ task was a little unrealistic, but Charlie’s propelled the tension and added some intrigue to what will happen in the future.

Charlie is the heart of the show. She’s been put in a difficult situation and has navigated her way from a confused young lady to a strong, hardened woman ready to do anything. She’ll need to evolve more, but she is well on her way to becoming one of the strongest heroines on television.

“Revolution Is Off To a Brilliant Start” – Pilot Review / Recap

By Lisa Macklem: Revolution is the new show I’ve been waiting for with the most anticipation this fall. I’m going to admit up front that I’m a diehard Eric Kripke fan. I love what he did for the long arc on Supernatural, so when I heard he was teaming up with JJ Abrams, I was pretty much sold, sight unseen. I have to confess, I’ve been a big fan of almost every one of Abrams projects too. Sometimes having high expectations, however, can lead to disappointment, but in the case of Revolution, I got exactly what I was hoping for and more.

There were some nice shout outs to fans of Supernatural. Two guys driving down the highway in a muscle car with AC/DC blasting in the first five minutes had me smiling. The story begins with family members dying and others going on a quest to reunite with missing family members. Planes crashing shortly after that had me thinking of Lost. In fact, in short order we were 15 years into the story, and the pace barely slowed for the entire hour. We meet our main characters Miles, Charlie, Danny, Maggie, Aaron, and Neville quickly. Charlie and Danny lose both their mother Rachel and father Ben, Miles brother, in the first ten minutes. In fact, we only see Rachel in the opening scene during the power outage.

Danny, we learn, has asthma and this is a very powerful device for driving home the full ramifications of what being without power might be like. It’s easy to take modern medicine for granted, but for these people a simple asthma attack becomes very much a life or death situation. Luckily, Maggie has medical training, but the precariousness of their existence is obvious.

Not everyone has adapted to this new world. Aaron was formerly a successful employee of Google, yet here he is almost useless. Charlie accuses him of being afraid of bees – he’s allergic; there’s a difference! And in another shout out to Supernatural, Aaron bemoans the fact that with $80 million in the bank, he’d trade it all for a roll of toilet paper. In theSupernatural episode “The End”, Chuck advises a character in a post-apocolyptic world to hoard toilet paper. It just so happens that Chuck was played by Rob Benedict who was also on Abrams’ Felicity. Catching all the inside shout outs looks to be a great part of the series.

The story quickly becomes a quest for Charlie to reunite with her estranged uncle Miles to rescue her brother Danny from the militia that is being headed by her uncle’s former partner. One might have anticipated that these plot elements alone would be teased out for the entire season, but we quickly find ourselves in Chicago with a family reunion of sorts. We also learn by the end of the episode that the necklace Ben entrusts Aaron with as he’s dying is somehow connected to a mysterious woman who has a similar necklace and access to power! And wasn’t there a necklace of some importance in Supernatural too? While there are lots of mysteries opened up in the pilot, we also get a satisfying number of answers.

The show promises to have lots of satisfying action of all kinds. The massive fight between Miles and the militia that come to take him away is masterfully shot and executed. There is much to look forward to in this world where only the militia have guns and even they don’t seem to have that many. I see lots of sword fights and hand to hand fight scenes coming up and hopefully, this episode has simply set the standard. The special effects are top quality – the eerie shots of all things mechanical covered in encroaching greenery and half submerged buildings are very realistic. Jon Favreau brings his considerable big-screen directing talents to the pilot to very, very good effect. I can’t wait to see what next week’s episode will bring us! I do know that Kripke will keep this story on track. Viewers will need to pay attention to details because there will be clues left along the way that will be seamlessly woven in, and I’m betting we’ll get a great pay off by the end of the season!

‘Revolution’ 1×01 “Pilot” – Episode Recap

Episode recap courtesy of Jason Evans @TVFilmTalk - Before I even start the plot recap, it is worth noting the Hollywood heavy hitters behind NBC’s new post-apocalyptic series “Revolution.” It was created and written by Eric Kripke, who created and ran “Supernatural.” Among the many Executive Producers is JJ Abrams of “Lost.” Some say “Revolution” might be a successor to “Lost” for fans wanting a show with a mysterious story line. “The Revolution” pilot was directed by Jon Favreau, one of the top directors in Hollywood who did both of the Iron Man films.

So, with all that pedigree, the potential is certainly there for something special… or at least watchable. Let’s see how it went.

(Note: I am doing a really detailed recap because there may be folks out there who missed the pilot and what to know what the show is about.)

NBC Revolution Promo Preview 1x01 013 ‘Revolution’ 1x01 Pilot   Episode Recap

We begin in Chicago in the home of a very typical family. The little boy and girl are watching cartoons. Mom, Elizabeth Mitchell of sci-fi staples “Lost” and “V,” is talking on the phone. Suddenly, Dad comes bursting through the front door. He has a big cartoon of supplies in his hands. “We need more water… we don’t have much time,” he says. She looks worried. “Ben,” she replies,” it’s happening, isn’t it?”

Cut to Ben’s brother, Miles, driving in a car at night with his buddy. Ben calls Miles’ cell phone and says, “Listen to me. It’s all going to turn off and it’s not going to come back on…” The phone call breaks up and Miles’ car starts shutting down. Ben is downloading something from his computer to a flash drive, the download just barely completes before EVERYTHING GOES DARK. By everything I mean lights, cars, phones, TVs, you name it. There is a great shot of the lights of cars on a highway slowly turning out. We then get a really chilling image as we see airplanes falling out of the sky and crashing to the ground in fireballs. Pull back to see the entire planet slowly go dark. The episode is less than 3 minutes over and I can already tell that Jon Favreau had a lot of fun directing this!

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‘Revolution’ Is Solidly-Written – Pilot Review from Screen Spy

Check out Jennifer Griffin’s pilot review of ‘Revolution’ from ScreenSpy.com:

Overall, Revolution is an action-packed adventure which shows a lot of promise. The pilot is reminiscent of some classic TV and movies without falling into the trap of being derivative, and there are several surprises in the final moments that have the ability to take the story in several new directions over episodes to come.

There is the concern that as a futuristic dystopia, the show will need to continue to impress visually (weeds and rubble will only take an audience so far, after all). Additionally, we’re far from knowing what caused the blackout, or even why the show is called Revolution, but the solidly-written and easily identifiable characters, delightful future-world elements and galloping action sequences provide enough entertainment and distraction for us not to really care too much at this point.

‘Revolution’ Will Need A Lot of Help To Survive on NBC

Adam Wright from TvDoneWright.com has given us a quick pilot recommendation (review) of ‘Revolution’ from what he’s seen. This is what he had to say:

Every year there’s one “high-concept” drama widely hyped. The words “The next LOST” is uttered every year, and it has been the death sentence of many shows. Flash Forward, Alcatraz, The Event, and Awake, just to name a few. This year’s high-concept drama widely hyped is the new J.J. Abrams series Revolution.

Imagine a day where all of sudden the power goes out. We would have no more electricity, cars, batteries, computers, technology, or anything that uses power. What could cause such black-out? That’s the premise of Revolution. 15 years after the black-out, people are living in a post-apocalyptic world. Of course, we throw in some rebel forces and warlords, we got ourselves some good action.

During the pilot, we’re introduced to the Matheson family. We’re also introduced by Captain Tom Neville, the leader of the rival militia who causes a whole lot of trouble. He’s played brilliantly by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito.

The pilot alone reveals A LOT. We get a lot of action and mythology in just one hour. Did they give away too much? It’s too early to tell. But one thing Revolution does try to do is to suck you in right way during the first episode.

With the pedigree behind the show, and the interesting story developing, I highly recommend checking out Revolution. It keeps you interested and by the end of the episode it delivers one last twist leaving you wanting more.

This new drama will need a lot of help to survive though. NBC placed this high-concept (read:HIGH-RISK) drama in a timeslot vs. Castle and Hawaii-Five 0.

Brief Thoughts on ‘Revolution’ @ Collider

As a big-budget post-apocalyptic series directed by Jon Favreau and produced by J.J. Abrams and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, Revolution is one of the more intriguing shows that will premiere in the fall. Will it live up to the hype? Maybe, but the genre element that will draw many of us in is off to a muddled start in the first episode. I will let NBC try to explain the premise:

“Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?”

Or as the requisite scientifically nerdy character (played by Zak Orth) puts it, “Physics went insane!” That gives you a good idea of how the writers are treating the central premise. They are truly interested in “Why?” and “Who can tell us why?” But to ask those kinds of questions with a show like this is to enter into dangerous territory. In all likelihood, there is no possible unifying and satisfactory answer to “Why?”, in which case your best-case scenario is Lost and your worst-case scenario is The Event (shudder).

In its first hour, Revolution is somewhere in between. This is not a coherent depiction of a post-apocalyptic world, and I am not immediately invested in any aspect of the Why. Perhaps that is too much to ask for a first episode, but make no mistake: the writers want to hook you now, want you to ask the questions with the characters. At least with me, they failed.

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‘Revolution’ Comic Con Review: A Future Without Technology?

NBC Revolution Promo Preview 1x01 086 300x165 Revolution Comic Con Review: A Future Without Technology?Time for a Revolution at Comic-Con 2012! When J. J. Abrams brings you a new television series, you know it’s going to raise and try to answer an interesting premise. What happens when a plane crashes on a mysterious island? What if prisoners from the 1960′s mysterious vanish and reappear in 2012? Or, in this case, what happens when the power goes out completely in the 21st century?

That’s exactly what happens in Revolution, an upcoming NBC show which screened at Comic-Con this year. It’s been 15 years since the Blackout, the night when the world’s advanced technology stops working, and while humanity has survived by reverting to the pioneer days, America is a very different place…that looks a lot like the screenshots from The Last Of Us. Anyway, people ride horses everywhere. They depend on archery to hunt and protect themselves. Running water is nonexistent. Oh, and the country is run (and terrorized) by General Monroe’s militia, complete with horses and wagons. Really.

But I totally bought it! Especially when the Matheson family is torn apart after the militia come after their father, Ben, for unknown reasons. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), his daughter, must track down her uncle Miles (Billy Burke) to find out what happened, rescue her brother, Danny (Graham Rogers) and perhaps solve the mystery of why modern day technology stopped working.

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TheFutonCritic Are Fans of “Revolution”

A quick summary of The Futon Critic’s review of “Revolution‘s” pilot episode:

What works: There’s a lot of potentially fun concepts at work at there – from how swordfighting has become the de facto means of settling disputes to how young people have no concept of how life was with electricity – all wrapped in some genuinely stunning visuals of post-apocalyptic Chicago. It’s a lush, beautiful show and one of the splashiest things you’ll see on TV next season, all done in an ambitious spirit you can’t help but root for. From a character standpoint, Burke’s Miles and Esposito’s Neville not surprisingly leave the biggest impressions as the former has a fun Han Solo-esque affability while the latter effortlessly radiates Southern gentile menace. It’s a shame then they never meet as “Revolution” plays like three mini-movies – the prologue showing the blackout, life in the village and the journey to find Miles – all with their own distinct dynamics.

What doesn’t: In theory that’s a good thing – we don’t know what’s coming next – and yet it’s almost disjointed to the point we don’t really get to invest ourselves in what’s going on (especially in its big reveals, which hinge on things from its previous iterations). Episode two then will presumably open up with a fourth set of dynamics, again resetting the show. As usual however the real challenge for a series like this is its incessant use of pronouns for things yet to be explained (oh the word “it,” how you punish us) not to mention the general big bet that physics itself can be turned upside down like this without even more dire consequences to nature itself. (That and Wrigley Field is adorned with a “2012 World Series Champions” banner.) Still, “Revolution” should get an inordinate amount of credit for at least trying to set up such a world and proceeding to ask how humanity would respond to it.

The bottom line:It will probably frustrate you at times, but darn if it isn’t a swing for the fences.

Source: TheFutonCritic.com

 

Another Positive Review of “Revolution” After Comic Con Preview Night

In a world that is so reliant on electronics and power for personal comfort and daily operations, a new series called Revolution (on NBC this September) poses the question: what happens when the power goes out…permanently? The attendees at SDCC 2012 got a special sneak preview of this upcoming primetime series!

If you have seen the Upfronts teaser for Revolution (which I personally had watched 12+ times), you know the basic gist of the pilot: All of a sudden in the present day, all power goes out. Everywhere. Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee- Stargate SG-1) seems to be the only one with any idea that the power outage is coming and tries to warn his brother Miles (Billy Burke -Twilight), but is cut off before he can reveal what was happening. Ben returns home to his wife and children, and quickly downloads files to a mysterious amulet moments before the event occurs. It seems like the world is about to end as anything that required power dies suddenly (including planes) and humanity is tasked with finding a new way to survive.

Jump forward 15 years…and the power is still out. Seriously. Life has found a way to move forward, but has regressed in many ways. The Mathesons (Ben, his son Danny, and daughter Charlie) and live in a small rural community, trying to stay out of the spotlight. When the Militia (led by Giancarlo Esposito- The Usual Suspects) shows up demanding that Ben assists with locating his brother, Danny (Graham Rogers- Memphis Beat) attempts to stop his father from being taken. Tragedy strikes, and now Charlie (Tracey is tasked with finding her Uncle and savings her remaining family. Why does the Militia want The Matheson brothers? What secrets do they hold regarding the blackout?

This awesome new series is being written by Eric Kripke (Supernatural), produced by J.J. Abrams (LOST), with the pilot episode Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man). One of the first things that you will notice about the show is the high quality CGI and production value of the pilot. Impressive visuals, sword fights, a dystopian future, and a solid cast, and quality writing are just some of the reasons why I cannot wait to watch Revolution each week.  I do want to note that the only way this show can be a hit is if the network truly commits and maintains this level of quality consistently. NBC seems to be aware of the gem that they have with this story, and I think they might give this the chance to capture everyone’s attention and become the must see series of 2012!

ComicsOnline gives Revolution: “Pilot” 5 out of 5 amulets that we want to find at Comic-Con!