The ‘Elementary’ Review (Part Two – SPOILERS)

This review comes after a review I did a few months ago in July. You can view that review by clicking here!

So this review comes after noticing a little notice when on my TV saying that Elementary was currently on TV, however, I taped them without knowing that they were the last two episodes and not the whole series. But still, I watched the two – I later realised – final episodes of the series. I was intrigued even further with the promise that two of the most known characters (aside from Sherlock and Watson), would feature in the two episodes: Irene Adler and Moriarty.

Or shall I say, Moriarty or Irene Adler, as the series finale saw a rather weird revelation. In this adaptation of the detective’s adventures, they are the same people!

But before that, I looked to see if the relationship had grown between Sherlock and Watson throughout the series. Nope, nothing more than the occasional argument, which is expected. But I was hoping, now that Watson is depicted as a woman, that there would be a possible room for a relationship. Still nothing. Though I presume that they’re making a wise move, as I don’t know how other fans would react to the news…

Now, back to the revelation of Irene Adler and Moriarty being the same person… This completely shocked me, for a variety of reasons listed below:

1. Irene Adler and Moriarty have two different personalities! Irene Adler is a flirtatious and deceptive blackmailer, whilst Moriarty is an unpredictable psychopath! They contradict!

2. Irene was not close to Sherlock (like the penultimate episode portrays), they did not help each other in the book, and even so, Sherlock would not fall in love with Irene as much as he did in the episode!

3. If Irene Adler and Moriarty were the same people in Conan Doyle’s books, a master plan would be different to the one in the episode!

Basically, so many mistakes!

As well as that, throughout the series Moriarty is known simply as: Moriarty. Book wise, it is well-known that his full name is James (or in Sherlock, “Jim”) Moriarty. So the chances are that the constant refusal to refer to Moriarty’s first name is a downfall of casting Moriarty as a female character. What surprises me is that they did quite a clever trick with transferring John Watson to Joan Watson, so it’s annoying in a way that they couldn’t be inventive with a different first name… What about Jane Moriarty? I mean, come on.

What also annoyed me was the absence of a grand master plan by Moriarty. Instead she was more interested in a much more dull plan for a season finale. Overall the plot was a disappointment.

But in positive news, Johnny Lee Miller did a good job of playing the role well in these two episodes, further showing the complexity of the character.

In the last few moments, it ends with Moriarty being caught in a hospital. First off, this is rather disappointing compared to the BBC Sherlock‘s stories. Each time Sherlock meets with Moriarty, it ends with a surprising deduction by Sherlock that leads to him getting the upper hand. In this case, it’s hardly Sherlock’s wit that saves the day, more Moriarty’s stupid mistake of going into a public hospital. Now, come on, everyone knows that Moriarty has the knowledge and common sense to not turn herself in… Ridiculous…

However, I suppose it ended alright, with Sherlock deciding to name a new type of bee after Watson… But yet again, I guess it describes the dullness of their friendship.

I have heard that a second series has been commissioned, but I’m afraid I shall not be watching it. BBC Sherlock has the winning drama for me…

Liam

Weekly Update: Back into Reading and Writing

So this week, upon reflection, has gone rather quickly. So much so I can’t remember much of what happened this week. However, three things have happened this week that I can remember, so I shall talk about them…

First off, I have read the two books I needed to read for my English Literature A-Level, both were good reads. Now that I have finished them two, I am now reading J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling, which I have only just started but is already intriguing.

Secondly, a quick update on my writing. Recently I have had the writer’s problem of not knowing whether to combine sequel ideas into the one book or to keep them separate and continue trying to stretch out the main idea. However, today left me a little inspired, and I’m now combining the sequel ideas into one book. Also, one of my characters is more developed! It’s good though because before today they were just names and didn’t have much personality, but now they do!

And finally, today saw me finish two episodes of Elementary, of which I reviewed the first episode of the series a few months ago (you can read it by clicking here!). I will be reviewing them for a post tomorrow so I won’t say too much other than it was interesting…

Have a good week!

Liam

The Confusion of Books

A lot can be said about a book. I could talk to you forever about how amazing a book is in my opinion, how it creates wonders and emotions, and the normal soppy and cliché things a book does to its reader. But there’s a new scenario that comes with an avid reader and book collector, that I have only just discovered…

Firstly there’s the common ideology that one cannot have too many books, and we buy beyond our room or study’s capacity, and we secretly know we’ve got a lot to read. But we keep on buying whilst reading, a compromise.

But what ends up happening is that our bookshelves become full of future favourite books, that we all like because of their gripping blurbs, covers (however much the saying goes) and the first sentence, but then comes the problem I had this weekend, which one do I read next?

I resorted to typical methods to find out what I was reading next. Elimination by “eenie-meenie-miney-mo” helped, but I still doubted my decision. In the end, I chose to read the intriguing (due to the media) book The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, which should be good.

I did finish Life of Pi, it was good.

Liam

Liam to Return to Novel-Writing | The Friday Article

After a few weeks at school and dealing with work, Liam O’Dell, blogger at The Life of a Thinker, is happy to announce his return to writing his next, and first, book.

Three weeks ago saw the aspiring writer go back to school, which saw his time be taken up by school work, decreasing the amount of time he had to read and write his book he intends to publish.

But now, Liam hopes to get back to writing the novel, claiming that the break from writing has left him feeling motivated and creative.

He said. “There comes a point where taking a break from something helps. In this case, looking over the novel with reflection has lead to more ideas.”

However, the problem comes with planning the novel itself.

He added. “Chapters are always hard to sort out. At the moment, I’m just creating and developing ideas.”

Liam hopes to continue working on the novel, and is unsure about whether he may write the book during NaNoWriMo. He once again stresses that he will keep everyone updated.

Liam

Personality Tests: How Predictable Are We?

Today saw me learn at school that of three type of learners (visual learner, auditory learner and kinaesthetic learner), that I am a visual learner, that I was expecting really as they usually are linked with creativity and drawing etc.

The way I found out though, was through a test, and it was on the way home that I began to think about it. One question was raised in my head:

With all these personality tests, how predictable are we? Can we predict the whole of our personality?

And what I meant by this was that as well as tests to find out what kind of a learner you are, there are also other tests to do with awareness and personality traits. For example, the Myers-Briggs test determines four types of personality traits. For example, ISTJ stands for Introverted, Sensitive, Thoughtful and Judgemental (this is not my group by the way, in fact I can’t recall what I am).

So it is likely that tests revolve around scientific and psychological backgrounds, monitoring thoughts and actions. However, of course, the limits to our personality’s predictability is that spontaneity is always present in ourselves. So it is clear in this case that the spontaneity of ideas and opinions come into effect here, as they both cannot be monitored…

But of course, as we are developing, it could well be that psychological aspects such as opinions may become predictable and able to categorise, we shall see. But in the mean time, predictability of personality is limited?

Have you taken any personality tests? Were they accurate? What were the results?

Liam

Sub Focus’s New Album, Torus (Review)

It was on the radio (like most occasions where people discover new music) where I heard Sub Focus for the first time. It was his track Tidal Wave (featuring Alpines) that really intrigued me. As a fan of drum and bass and electronica, I anticipated the next single and the announcement of an album.

Two more singles were announced on the way, both I loved, and now comes the news that the DJ’s second album, entitled Torus, will be released on the 30th September. To promote the release, the musician announced an interactive and fun game/challenge, tasking fans to search the globe to find discs, which, if found, would play a preview of one of the tracks from the album. The songs from the standard album were then later released on YouTube, and so here is my review of the tracks based on the audio…

1. Torus

Spoken words and a quiet beginning of the song makes the track different to other parts of the song. A complex arpeggio melody makes the song very complex and funky. When vocals are introduced the song becomes more bouncy. The song has an intense build up to the chorus which is a little too long but is worth it, with a funky and almost grunge chorus.

2. Safe in Sound

A relaxing track, with fast drum and bass. The vocals provided by the vocalist are smooth and calm, a perfect song to relax too. It is a good combination. Sub Focus’ musical interlude is a perfect attachment to the vocals provided.

3. Endorphins (feat. Alex Clare)

A complex hi-hat groove combines with Alex Clare’s talented vocals to form an exciting track. The vocal solos are great in this song, and the musical interlude included in the song adds to an electronic and drum and bass feel commonly associated with Sub Focus’ music. A great achievement for both Sub Focus and Alex Clare.

4. Out the Blue (feat. Alice Gold)

It has already been released, but this song is different to the radio edit and provides extra sections of joy. Overall the song is great, with complex drum parts, and great vocals by Alice Gold which make the track a fast-paced drum and bass song in the album. The electronic melody is a great addition to the song, making it an even stronger drum and bass album.

5. Twilight

Complex drum parts and almost alien-like sounds introduce the song. Off-beat rhythms link with the smooth and calm vocals provided with the song. A relaxing and slow tempo to provide a change to the fast tempos of other songs.

6. Close (feat. MNEK)

Vocal distortions make it appear as a dance track. The chords used in the background further suggest this. The song is a great dance anthem. The track’s later increase in pace builds up anticipation. It then drops into an almost 90’s like groove, which is a great nostalgic song. The chorus also contains catchy vocals as well. Funky addition to the album.

7. Turn it Around (feat. Kele)

A great song from the DJ and Kele. The dubstep-like background music merges perfect with his vocals, and the interlude is even better, combining a tricky melody with off-beat drum parts. Beautiful technical melodies leading to the chorus greater adds to the overall picture the song creates. A great drum and bass single.

8. Out of Reach (feat. Jayelldee)

A nice Latin feel on the drums mixing with glockenspiel-like solos. The vocals have an effect on them which make them more relaxing. The chorus is more pop and surprisingly contains no electronic melodies, but is still powerful and strong. Near the end of the song, a lack of vocals and powerful drum solos bring the song to a great finish.

9. Falling Down (feat. Kenzie May)

A memorable synthesiser tune occurs at the start before vocals add to the rhythm which work well with tempo and background Sub Focus creates. Leading up to the chorus, a dubstep/grunge chorus can be expected in a triplet fashion, which means it is likely to be another rave track from the album.

10. Turn Back Time

This track starts with a cow-bell like instrument alongside many other forms of percussion, and a repetitive and catchy synth melody. After a while vocals appear in the song which are great and add an extra umph to the track. After the smooth and relaxing verses comes the build-up to the chorus. The drop is unexpected, but contains a funky off-beat/triplet rhythm, which makes this track a likely floorfiller in clubs upon its release, as it is clear that this song is a rave track and a future dance anthem.

11. You Make it Better (feat. Culture Shock and TC)

This track is the drum and bass style that is commonly assigned to Sub Focus’ music. It starts with a fast and complex electronic glockenspiel-like sound before immediately going into a Drum and Bass chorus which is very quick and “raveable”. The vocals of the track, provided by Culture Shock and TC are distorted, but they add a good layer to the song and the fact they are quiet creates an exciting and atmospheric feel for the track.

12. Tidal Wave (feat. Alpines)

The track sees an almost seaside feel (true to the name of the song) and a summer feel. The vocal talents of Alpines is strong, with very powerful and strong high-pitched vocals nearing the chorus. The song consists of a very intense build up before a surprise slowing down of tempo which is easy to rave to. Drum fills are also present in this track which give the song more colour. Nearing the end of the song, it enters a fast-paced drum and bass synthesiser solo and drum groove. Overall a great song that stands out on the album.

13. Until the End (feat. Foxes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyFUwam0Lx0

As soon as the song starts it immediately creates anticipation. It starts with a fuzzy synth tune, which is different to the other synthesiser melodies on the album. When Foxes’ vocals are introduced, they work perfectly with the rhythm and tune – it is clear that her voice is well suited to electronic tracks, after the success of Clarity and this track. Regarding the actual genre of the track and its drum parts, the lack of drums makes it appear to be more of a pop song, but make it a smooth track. However, when more drums are added later on, it adds to the feel, making it sound more like pop, but adds to the song’s effect and makes it stand out more.

Overall, this album looks great, and I look forward to its release on the 30th. I am not usually one to buy albums, but this will definitely be an exception. The above videos are only previews as well, so it creates anticipation as to what each song will sound like in full, but it is clear that each one will provide something new to the album as a whole.

Liam

Weekly Update: Why Calendars are helpful…

Hi everyone, another week has passed… Rather quickly in fact, but yet again the famous saying does say: “time flies when you’re having fun“. I found that to be true regarding this week. But it can also be adapted to say “time flies when you’re busy“, because after this week, it sure feels that way.

I am still in Sixth Form, which is going well. But of course, this is the stage where deadlines are important. In the past, forgetting your homework “because the dog ate it” would be OK in middle/secondary school, so long as you caught up on the work or understood the topic discussed. But it’s now where GCSE’s are involved, and A-Levels, and “because the dog ate it” is not a good excuse anymore. So instead come the word deadlines, which is much more serious, formal and severe. Excuses no longer work as you have been told ages in advance, and the only answer to not doing it is pure laziness/procrastination.

So how do I do it?…Calendars.

But not just for school deadlines. With every activity and event that wants me to be there, I place it in the calendar (electronic one of course), and it is so helpful! And regarding the deadlines, they’re rather handy actually as should I wish to become a journalist, deadlines will of course be a normal thing in the hectic life of newspaper journalism – so it all helps!

In Other News:

You may remember me saying in my post yesterday (see below if not!) that I am reading some books from my A-Level English Literature reading list. I gave up on the first, and have just finished the second. I enjoyed it, overall, but it came to a point where I was looking to find the end of the chapter so I knew how much left I had to read before the chapter ended. But the concept of the story intrigued me, the ending was disappointing, but I liked the air of mystery to the book.

Next stop, The Life of Pi. I shall let you know how I get on…

Have a good week!

Liam