Iñárritu’s “Birdman” is a candle burning on both ends

Batman. Superman. Iron Man. Birdman? Most audiences have never heard of that last superhero. But with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s highly anticipated film officially released nationwide, this new character is set to become a household name. The reputation of the filming of “Birdman” is more prevalent with audiences than the actual plot of the film, and that’s for good reason. Filmed as though the whole movie is one continuous shot, it will be leaving audiences in awe. Finding a break in the filming is difficult, if at all possible.

Having been nominated for nine Oscars this past week, after viewing this film it’s no surprise why it is leading the awards shows for 2015. Before even seeing any of the actors in this film, the audience sees flashes of jellyfish on a beach. Not knowing what these literal fish out of water have to do with the storyline, the next thing the audience sees is Micheal Keaton in his underwear. In a dingy dressing room. Levitating. That’s a lot to take in within the first few moments of screen time. But the oddities that this film offers don’t stop there.

Declared by the media and society as a washed-up actor, Riggan Thompson (Keaton) has taken to directing, acting and even adapting the writing of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” into a Broadway play. But, with the first of three previews leading up to opening night on the horizon, Riggan isn’t impressed with his ensemble. Adding a bit of a supernatural element to this story, Riggan apparently has the power to control things with his mind. Apparently.

After taking out the least impressive actor, Riggan is in need of a replacement. His producer and friend, Jake (Zach Galifanakis) says there’s no way the actor of their dreams would just appear in this play. Lo and behold, a typical film and TV trope occurs with a knock on the door and Mike (Edward Norton) is not only available to take on the role, but he is eager to too. This trope seems to be a common motif throughout the film: When Riggan’s daughter, Sam (Emma Stone) says people don’t care about her father because he’s no longer relevant, he suddenly goes viral. With similar instances like this popping up throughout the whole two-hour duration, questions arise.

Are these instances none other than these supernatural powers Riggan appears to have? Are they just writers working their cleverness into the film? Or, is there something more serious going on? Shortly into “Birdman,” the audience hears what can only be described as Christian Bale’s Batman voice taunting and degrading Riggan. Later on, while Riggan seems to be badly handling his mid-life crisis, it is revealed this voice is none other than his alter ego, Birdman. Why does this voice taunt and mock this actor who is struggling to remain relevant? Does Riggan have a mental illness or is he having a hard time letting go of the persona of Birdman? Whether either, both or neither of these were the messages Iñárritu was trying to portray on the big screen, it garnered complete attention from viewers.

With each character having a damning or not-so-perfect story that led them to be involved with Riggan and “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” everyone seems to have something to prove once the play opens. Obtaining a good review, actually being a Broadway star, being able to stay sober, having the best performance of one’s life and staying pertinent all lead the list with what these characters want to happen to better their lives. And while it may have been awhile that millennials have last seen Keaton as the main star of the show (“Batman” is almost 30 years old … ), both he and Riggan will be relevant in 2015.

With Keaton, Norton and Stone all leading the Oscar noms, of course the acting in this movie was impressive. But the cinematography of the continuous one shot is more striking. Moving seamlessly from scene to scene and from day to day, there are some moments that when the camera pans, it doesn’t seem like it would be physically possible to do so. Viewers see the camera pass straight through a wall and move forward when a table is obviously in the way. But as is the way with movies and plays, the audience suspends their disbelief and doesn’t question where the camera pans nor how it does so. There is no actual reason to question the camera, however, because with the continuous one shot, it doesn’t seem like one is watching a shaky home movie or cell phone video. The camera remains steady and is never visible in a mirror or any form of reflection. The fluid movements the camera shows to audiences makes it evident why this film is nominated for Best Cinematography.

If there is one word to describe “Birdman,” it would have to be “bizarre.” But not the type of bizarre where a three-headed monster may immediately come to mind. No, bizarre aptly describes both the good and bad that comes with Iñárritu’s film. As Mike tells Sam she is like a candle burning on both ends, so is “Birdman.” The one shot aspect of the film preceded other aspects of it, including an extremely talented cast. And, there are many questions to ponder once the credits roll. How does Riggan control these powers? Where did he get them? Can he really fly or is that all happening inside his head? These question don’t add to the overall story of “Birdman,” but they don’t take away from it either.

A bizarre candle burning on both ends, “Birdman” receives an A-. With little information about the overall storyline, it was a trippy experience viewing a movie knowing more about filming and effects than what was going on. While Mike may warn Riggan that “popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige,” the popularity Iñárritu’s film will have among audiences won’t lower any modicum of its prestige.

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There will be no justice for these “Pretty Little Liars”

The beloved teen show has been off track from the books since the very first episode when it was revealed not one of the four main characters matched her book description (albeit, Aria is pretty close). So upon its season five premiere, the hopes of certain characters being dead, others ever being introduced and story arcs happening, were all lost.

The audience first sees the Liars at Mona’s funeral, three months after her murder. Emotions run high as Hanna is openly upset about her “friend’s” death and Spencer is a suspect in a murder case, causing all book fans to openly groan. As the storyline openly no longer follows any story arc of the books, it’s hard to tell who is friend, who is foe and most importantly, who is A.

The Liars, Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Aria, are still actively searching who has been threatening, stalking and openly harassing them under the guise of “A.” With Mona’s death still lingering over Rosewood, the primary suspect is their friend-turned-enemy, turned-friend-again, turned-enemy-yet-again, Alison DiLaurentis. The flipping back and forth of “Is Alison A?” and who to trust in the affluent Philadelphia suburb aren’t what is unrealistic about this show (the story garnered 18 books over nine years), but the fact high school seniors can run about a city at all hours of the night and yet their parents don’t seem to wonder where their daughters are.

With graduation looming for the Liars, one would assume that it’s crunch time: finals, cleaning out lockers, saying last goodbyes and grad parties are the norm of many American high school seniors on the verge of graduating. Not in ABC Family’s world. Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Aria have all the time in the world to investigate if Alison is the current A and to prove she murdered Mona.

As it looks like there is no current crossroads for book “Pretty Little Liars” and television show “Pretty Little Liars” to collide, there is one thing both sets of Liars have in common: their knack for getting into heaps of trouble where there shouldn’t be. (Brief spoilers for those who haven’t watched.) Aria almost sees her death by nail gun, Emily and Spencer intend to plant false evidence in a murder case and Hanna … well Hanna is too busy trying to channel her dead “friend’s” spirit to cause trouble. If all this bouncing back and forth among storylines is too difficult to pay attention to, there is one more factor trying to grab your attention on the screen.

While this may be the 21st century and most millennials are connected to the Internet 24/7 in one way or another, the suggested hashtags that popped up across the screen throughout the hour were more annoying than conversation-worthy. #PLLCoverUp, #PLLSocialHour, #MonaCam, #PLLFireworks and the obvious #PrettyLittleLiars were all intended to get viewers buzzing about the show on social media, but with bright white font appearing on screen at some of the most dramatic and gasp-worthy moments, the hashtags just took away form the suspense each scene had to offer.

Though book readers may be rolling their eyes and inwardly sighing, the always-clever I. Marlene King has dropped some subtle (and other not-so-subtle) hints not only about the identity of A, but also of the constantly twisting “Pretty Little Liars” book series plots. Why does Ali remember that family outing differently than Jason does? Is it typical that the youngest sibling has three albums full of baby photos while the first born has seemingly none? And with Ali blatantly warning the Liars they’d be sorry if they let her get arrested, viewers and readers alike are left with their minds churning the never-answered question: Who is A?

With stoylines overlapping, questions not being solved, saturated colors and perfect hair gracing the screen, the premiere of the fifth season of “Pretty Little Liars” receives a C-. There has to be something to get the viewers to come back for next week’s installment, and wrapping everything up nicely and neatly within the hour is all too perfect for the Rosewood teens. There is no way Spencer would have gotten off that easily with a murder charge — A would have made sure of it. While last season’s acting may not have been the best from the “A” cast, the premiere shows every actor is back to make sure cable television is hooked on the Liars’ saga.

ABC’s new musical comedy is “a real butt-clencher”

Described by its composer Alan Menken as a “full 22-minute musical each week,” ABC’s newest TV show “Galavant” has piqued the interest of many even before its premiere. Is it like “Spamalot?” Is the premise similar to that of “The Princess Bride?” Well-known Disney veterans Menken and Dan Fogelman are at the front of this medieval musical, but “Galavant” won’t remind you of any film from your childhood.

Critics have had mixed reviews about ABC’s latest venture — and for good reason. With cop shows and whodunit dramas reigning supreme, rankings for a musical comedy set in medieval times may not have the same reception as ABC’s Shonda Rimes power hours on Thursday nights. But with constant singing that borders on the absurd, “Galavant” will leave audiences wanting to know what farcical lyrics will come next.

Wasting no time in its story, “Galavant” opens the only way it knows how: sing-narrating our hero’s journey thus far. While some lyrics may border on the absurd, others border on some darker topics (being impaled, the plague, etc. The usual topics that concern medieval peasants and townspeople). Even if the townspeople or the royal court appear for one song each, the costumes these characters wear have had extreme thought go into them. Bright colors, a myriad of different fabrics, elaborate patterns and various cuts of fabrics can all be seen in just the first half hour of “Galavant.” With great thought put into the costume department, one may think that this musical will be true to its time.

But part of the show’s quirk is that it doesn’t necessarily follow its period. Characters sing and speak with 21st century vernacular rather than the language of medieval times. With this dialogue setting the comedic tone, “Galavant” channels “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Dance and fight numbers rival the ridiculousness seen in “Holy Grail” as well. But this musical doesn’t resemble the plot line seen in a Monty Python production.

Galavant (Joshua Sasse) goes above and beyond his heroic duties by chasing down his true love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) after she’s been forced to marry the powerful King Richard (Timothy Omundson). But upon arriving at the ceremony, Madalena turns down her love for a shot at fame and fortune. Heartbroken and with nothing to live for, Galavant sulks. For a year. While he doesn’t do a complete Miss Havisham, Galavant chooses to sulk in self-pity and copious amounts of alcohol. That is, until Princess Isabella (Karen David) of Valencia arrives.

Hoping to spare her parents’ lives from the wrath of King Richard, Princess Isabella needs Galavant’s help to save Valencia. But little does Galavant know, Isabella has been forcibly sent by King Richard to fetch our hero so he can carry out his dastardly plan: King Richard wants to kill Galavant so Madalena will finally love him rather than still pining after Galavant. But who knows how much she pines for her first love as Madalena is going to bed with the Jester by episode’s end.

The show is only a half hour long, yet ABC is airing episodes back-to-back. Maybe this could help in “Galavant’s” favor, because as some critics have pointed out, 30 minutes 22 minutes is not enough time to get emotionally connected to the characters, nor is it enough time to provide a proper climax and resolution to each story arc. However, there are some redeeming characteristics to “Galavant.” Like as the Jester sing-narrates to the audience, this is a narrative we’ve never seen before, and that’s true (for the most part). The only resemblance this new musical comedy has to the Disney film of your childhood is everyone knows the words to the song once the music begins. Guest stars galore bring in a fresh face each week to keep the comedy (and storyline) alive. The talent that is composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater know what makes a great song — even if that song has nonsensical subject matter. Lyrics that include “a real butt-clencher,” “he wowed in every way, a fairy tale cliché” and “maybe you’re not the worst thing ever,” demonstrate you don’t have to have a serious subject matter to write an entertaining and catchy song.

All in all, “Galavant” gets a solid C. With nothing similar to it currently on TV, it can certainly fill a niche for musical lovers and comedy fans alike. But, with less than a half hour to grab the audience’s attention and sing into their hearts, it’s going to be difficult for this show to deliver on the adventure and extravaganza the commercials have been promoting. Nonetheless, the humor and and not-so-subtle jokes “Galavant” has in its repertoire can only help boost the otherwise brief story arcs.

You won’t ‘forget’ this “Toy Story” special anytime soon

I, like many millennials, grew up with the tale of Toy Story. While I currently still feel like Peter Pan and am not ready to grow up, the “Toy Story” shorts that Disney/Pixar have been creating for the past few years are helping quell that overwhelming responsibility known as adulthood. All of which, including “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” have been the perfect remedy when I need a childhood nostalgia fix.

Enter Bonnie’s home just after Christmas 2014, and Woody and Buzz’s new child looks to have grown older. (As she should, since “Toy Story 3” came out four years ago.) While it’s just a half hour TV special, you can tell Pixar and Disney put as much effort into this as they did with the Toy Story feature films; the animation quality that has gone into this special is still superb. The emotions that flash across every toy’s face and the furrow of Bonnie’s brow when she can’t find her friend Mason all leave me in awe. Along with the animation quality, I was impressed with the score that knew the right moment to draw the audience in for a dramatic moment, but also knew when to scale back and let the action or dialogue take the spotlight.

As it’s after Christmas, Bonnie’s home looks like a war zone with toys (new and old) strewn across the living room floor. The viewers get to see more of Bonnie’s toys rather than just Andy’s gang, but even more characters are introduced when Bonnie goes to her friend Mason’s house. The newest, coolest action figures on the market, the Battlesaurs, are Mason’s biggest Christmas gift, but he’s too busy playing on his new video game system to notice how cool these dinos are. But because of Mason’s lack of attention, the Battlesaurs don’t realize they’re toys. (Reminiscent of Buzz’s scenario in the first film.)

Though Bonnie/Andy’s toys don’t realize that the Battlesaurs want to actually battle, they play along thinking it’s all an act. Not giving away too much of what happens to Woody, Buzz, Rex and this short’s star, Trixie, I’ll say “Toy Story That Time Forgot” has everything: battles, childhood remembrance, silly jokes, jokes adults will enjoy, and there’s even a brief theme song! What more can someone ask for in a new holiday special?

Despite the fact there isn’t as much action packed into a half hour as there is in a full-length film, this special hit it just right. The arena the Battlesaurs fight in has a “Gladiator”-eque vibe with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down deciding a toy’s fate. The fate of Woody, Buzz, Rex and Trixie is unknown to viewers at the climax of “Toy Story That Time Forgot.” When fighting the Battlesaurs, the audience can see how dated our heroes are, as they are toys from almost 20 years ago. But nonetheless, these characters pack a punch — which is exactly what Pixar is wanting with the recent announcement of “Toy Story 4” coming in 2017.

To avoid sounding cliché, while I may no longer be the target audience the Toy Story shorts and films are aiming for, “Toy Story That Time Forgot” had me in a fit of giggles. For this new holiday special (can you say “classic?”), I give it a solid B. Maybe it’s because I have questions about the rules of being a toy in the Toy Story realm, but there are a few matters left unanswered for me when it ended. Such as where on earth did the cat angel ornament go? While we’ll have to wait longer than 3:30 on Tuesday to see Bonnie and her toys again, we may have a hint at who this love story will revolve around.

“Big Hero 6” tugs on viewers’ hearstrings

When I first saw previews for this movie about a year ago, it didn’t look all that appealing to me (the same can actually be said with two other films from this animation studio; “Tangled” and “Frozen” didn’t draw me in based on their trailers alone). But I’m glad I gave Disney’s latest animated flick a chance. The bizarre — albeit not bizarre for Disney — premise was something that can only be portrayed in an animated film.

I’m betting there are many people, like myself, who had no idea this movie was actually based on a Marvel comic. Well, a comic that was shelfed after it first appeared in 1998 and then relaunched 10 years later in 2008. But as many critics have since pointed out, if Disney can make “Guardians of the Galaxy” into a blockbuster, perhaps they can do it with other not-so-well-known characters. And to me, this film is definitely another success for Disney Animation.

Though there were some critics saying Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film “Interstellar” would win the box office this weekend simply because “Big Hero 6” is an animated family movie, I feel “Big Hero 6” will win the hearts of everyone — not just families. Currently, Rotten Tomatoes gives “Big Hero 6” a 91 percent on its Tomatometer (with its competitor, “Interstellar,” given a 72 percent on the Tomatometer). And boy, is that 91 percent pretty well deserved.

Our opening scene begins with a panoramic view of the skyline of San Fransokyo. Though it appears to be late at night, the city is lit up with vivid colors that set the bar high for the level of animation in this movie. When the audience first meets Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and sees him hustle some top-notch fighters during a robot battle, they instantly know this 14 year old is a force to be reckoned with. When Hiro gets in over his head, in comes big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) to save the day. This first glimpse of these brothers on screen shows the perfect sibling dynamic between the two: while it’s obvious Hiro and Tadashi love each other, they know the quirks and faults the other one has as well. But there isn’t enough time in the narrative for the audience to truly get to know Tadashi before he dies.

When things are looking up for the brothers, Tadashi dies in an lab fire at his university. Though this is pretty early on in the film, his loss not only sticks with the characters during the whole hour and 45 minutes of run time, but with the audience as well. Viewers won’t get to know Tadashi like his friends and brother have, but with the comedic arrival of Baymax (Scott Adsit), we learn Tadashi wanted to help people.

Begin the typical Disney plot where the main characters have lost someone dear to them and are dealing with said loss. While this plot line can be too played out, in “Big Hero 6,” it works. Baymax wouldn’t be able to help Hiro without the loss of his brother, thus the superheroes we’ve seen wouldn’t have been created without a death near to the viewers and characters. The emotions run high and vary accordingly in “Big Hero 6,” leaving the audience needing a hot water bottle for their hearts.

The Easter Eggs in this movie are prevalent too. With the confirmation of “Frozen’s” villain Hans appearing in “Big Hero 6,” I was on the lookout for more Easter Eggs. And the few I found were aptly done. Stitch, AKA Experiment 626, makes two appearances in the film. He first can be seen in what looks like a family photo in Aunt Cass’s (Maya Rudolph) house along the staircase. His second appearance is as a pillow on Fred’s (T.J. Miller) bed when our gang of teenage superheroes are on the lookout for a safe hideout. Another brief, but nonetheless important, Easter Egg that appears is the portrait of Fred’s family. The painting depicts none other than the world-renowned Stan Lee as Fred’s father. These are all more reasons that Disney’s attention to detail is incredible. But these details are also lacking in some parts of the story.

During the six heroes’ Fall Out Boy-fueled origin story montage, I couldn’t help but to think, wouldn’t Hiro’s aunt wonder where he is? Like last year’s hit of “Frozen,” there are many questions left unanswered when the film ends. What happened to Hiro and Tadashi’s parents? How are the laboratories going to be rebuilt? How did all of these characters get there bizarre names? Wasabi? Honey Lemon? Go Go? Are the kids now all forced to deal with secret identities? Will Baymax and Mochi the cat be friends? With these questions rattling around in my head, I give “Big Hero 6” a solid A-.

While the heroes of “Big Hero 6” didn’t set out to be superheroes, as we all know, sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned. And that’s just how I feel about this animated film. Even though there are questions I’d love to have answered, many of them aren’t critical to the plot. Initially, I wasn’t drawn in on trailer and preview viewings, but after sitting down and seeing the whole film, the animation quality and storytelling I witnessed means Disney has done it again — they have another hit on their hands. Let’s hope they can keep the merchandise on the shelves this time. And for those of you who are quick to filter out of the theater as soon as the ending credits begin to roll, stick around if you’d like to learn more about Fred’s father.

Good evening TBS: “American Dad!” does well on its new network

After having learned of “American Dad’s!” cancellation from FOX’s Animation Domination lineup last year, I was upset. Why would FOX cancel what seems to be Seth MacFarlane’s best show (currently, anyway)? But with that same cancellation announcement came the update that the show would be switching to TBS, so my anger was quelled. Along with the new network came new boundaries to push and new jokes to air, but not a new type of humor from the show people have come to love. So with this in mind, I was looking forward to the October 20 premiere on TBS. And boy, was it a doozy.

“Blonde Ambition” starts in typical “American Dad!” fashion with bright colors galore and Roger dressing up in a disguise that doesn’t just quite fit with the scenario the Smiths are in. Perhaps an allusion the show’s move to a new network, but the driving factor behind this premiere episode is that Stan wants to move to a gated community to not only get away from countless flyers posted on his front door, but also to “keep the riffraff out.” An absurd premise for an absurd show, but in my opinion, it works.

Along with this, Hayley is facing her own problems in this episode. With Hayley having dyed her hair blonde, my main question isn’t how someone with such dark hair can change her hair to so light overnight, but rather, how did the texture of her hair change too? But this is animation, and many liberties are taken. Hayley’s environmentalist, peace-loving ways don’t change when her appearance does though. Looking for a way to get people to listen to her when it comes to charity, Hayley not only takes to dying her hair to be heard, but also partying the night away. And Roger comes along for the ride, like he always does. Another absurd idea, but for MacFarlane’s second show, it works.

Quotes like “See Steve, when you live on a hill, you can look down on everyone. It’s not the only reason to live on a hill, but it’s the main one,” from Stan and “Tusks. I think we can no longer deny the facts: This guy is an elephant dentist,” from Roger, the ridculousness that is “American Dad!” is still appealing. The shock factor of some of the not-so-tasteful jokes is on par with the one liners and witty banter the characters deliver on this show.

All in all, it doesn’t seem like much has changed for Set MacFarlane’s brainchild, besides making the move to cable. The lack of cutaways are what sets “American Dad!” apart from “Family Guy.” With real world and pop culture references being dropped in every scene, it appears “Dad” is on track to continue with its same style of humor that was (up until recently) popular on FOX. The only difference now seems that cartoon gore is included and curse words can be dropped on during the 9 p.m. time slot. As TBS boasts this new season will be edgier, based on “Blonde Ambition,” I have to agree with them. Edgier jokes, plots and even animation will let “American Dad!” go far on the Turner Broadcasting network.

Fox’s latest mini-series falls flat

I’m no “Doctor Who” fan, but when I saw David Tennant would be appearing as who seems to be the leading man in “Gracepoint,” I figured I would give Barty Crouch Jr. a chance. Though it seemed like the odds were stacked against the Fox  mini-series — particularly because of its time slot — I decided I would tune in. And my reaction to “Gracepoint” is solely lackluster.

The opening reveals to the audience that young Danny Solano is out of bed at a late hour looking like he is about to jump to his death while tears stream down his face. Cue the next day where everyone goes about their routine as usual, save no one’s alarm going off, and his whole family just assumes Danny has left for school. It’s not until mid-way through the morning when Beth Solano (Virginia Kull) learns from one of Danny’s teachers that he never showed up for school. But shouldn’t the school district call you if your child doesn’t show up for school first thing in the morning?

Leading up to the discovery of Danny’s disappearance, Gracepoint seems to be a small town where everyone knows each other, but there is no idyllic Stars Hollow vibe here. With menacing music foreshadowing his son’s death, we follow Mark Solano (Michael Peña) as he seems to be involved in everyone’s lives in Gracepoint. The Solano family is even good friends with detective Ellie Miller (Anna Gunn), who ends up investigating Danny’s death with newly appointed detective Emmett Carver (Tennant) — who just so happens to have been given the job Miller was vying for. As an outsider to the town, Emmett Carver may be at the top of many people’s lists as the culprit in Danny Solano’s death. Tennant’s character does seem to know how to get the job done though, but also seems ego-centric and not care about the sense of community the small town of Gracepoint has.

With back stories and crucial information galore, if you blink, you’ll definitely miss something dire to the plot. But the plot isn’t adding up to be the leaves-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, whodunit story as other shows have done.

Though I am like every other viewer and the residents of Gracepoint and want to know who killed Danny Solano, there are many questions about this drama that don’t portray a realistic storyline. What 11 year old has a framed photo of himself and his best friend in his room? Why were there so many people milling about the beach if it was closed off as a crime scene? While there are legalities involved about releasing the name of a deceased child, wouldn’t the news have broken in the tiny hamlet earlier than the local reporter sending it out? Or wouldn’t people suspect the identity of the dead body on the beach when there were crime scene investigators storming the Solano house? And how convenient is it that San Francisco Globe reporter Renee (Jessica Lucas) knows detective Carver? I know it’s Hollywood and that means A) it doesn’t have to be realistic as long as it entertains and B) Hollywood takes numerous liberties when it comes to a detective drama, but these instances in the first episode leave me more confused than curious about the crime.

All in all, I give Fox’s mini-series a C. It has a compelling, can-the-audience-figure-it-out-first storyline, but to me, the writing and setup of the show just don’t draw me in. And it looks like I’m not the only one who feels this way. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a 69 percent on its Tomatometer (but the audience score is at a hefty 83 percent). After the premiere, IMDb has “Gracepoint” rated at 7.9 out of 10 stars. Even other reviewers at Entertainment Weekly and Variety have mixed feelings about this show. To me, the actors worked well with the synopsis they were given, but something about “Gracepoint” just doesn’t work. It falls flat compared to all the crime-solving, mystery-filled dramas out there. Slow-mo shots, ominous music and lens flares dominate the screen in this show, and while the camera people and artistic ideas in a show should be praised, to me they don’t add anything to “Gracepoint.” Maybe Fox should just stick with superhero shows for now.