To be honest, I'm sure people have heard of them and may also like/love them too but I don't hear much about them. I wasn't aware of things like fandoms and ships and all that, I'm
still gettng to know this side of bloggers who love this stuff, things
that I like, so I'm hoping there are others out there who might agree
with me about these shows. I think Haven, Pushing Daisies and at a push Ashes to Ashes are typical fandom type shows and the others I just really really love.
I felt like no one was watching this when it started in 2010. I loved how it was about a mysterious town where people had mysterious 'powers'. It was a police drama with a supernatrual side as well as having folklore twist. It was, what some would say, my jam. I loved the cast and I was rooting for Audrey and Nathan all the way. Sometimes shows aren't complete with a ship. I think the last season which was split into 2 parts could have easily been made into 1 and saved time. I still, to this day have not seen the last ever episode just because I'm scared of the end. I know people were surprised that the show got a second season but after that point it was winning. Five seasons, great show.
Ashes to Ashes
I actually turned my nose up at this not-your-typical police drama from the BBC. My friend said I was crazy to miss it so I caught up and loved it. In fact I was very much invested in the story about D.I Alex Drake who is shot in modern day and sent back in time to 1981. This was a follow up series to Life on Mars which was set in 70s. I loved the cast and who can resist the 80s. Keely Hawes is brilliant and her Alex Drake to Philip Glenister's Gene Hunt. Not only was there a case to solve in each episode, but there was an ongoing storyline which became more sinister as the series progressed. There was also the plot throughtout series 1 and 2 about how Alex could get home to her time then in series 3 how she could get back to the 80s to save her friends. As with most UK shows, they come to an end, even if there is room for more. Three series of great TV.
I have been very patient with watching this show, meaning that I hadn't been able to find the show online, I only saw trailers until season 1 was released on DVD. I binge watched this show, I couldn't help myself. I hadn't really saw anything like it even though it sounds run-of-the-mill. It's difficult to sum the show up in a few sentances but its about an ex-con who used to work for the mob who, upon release after 15 years in prison seeks out his love who has moved to Banshee under another name. But on the way a fight breaks out and innocent bystander is killed. He happened to be the town's new sheriff that no one has met yet so our ex-con (4 seasons in and we still don't know his real name) assumes the identity of the dead sheriff. Throw in some Amish, a disgruntled Indian tribe AND an ex-Amish crime-lord with a pet pyscho and you've got a damn fine show.
I think I could be wrong about not many people knowling about Ned the pie maker who can bring the dead back to life, at a price. Lee Pace and Anna Friel lead the multi-coloured delicious world of Pushing Daisies. It has everything I could ever want, Lee Pace for starters, singing, lots of pies, amazing colours and oh the production design of everything is to die for but most importantly its a murder mystery show complete with a wonderfully sarcastic PI (Chi McBride) and every hopefully singing wonder waitress Olive (Kristin Chenoweth). Why oh why did this dream have to end after only two seasons?
Crimes of Passion/Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
This is a cheat double whammy of period drama murder mystery, one from Sweden, the other from Down Under aka Australia. Yes they make dramas too, not just export soap operas. Both TV series are based on a series of books, both with a female protagonist who solve crimes, one as a PI, the other who assists her Detective friend and husband.
Crimes of Passion, set in 50's Sweden, only had 6 feature length episodes (similar to a Miss Marple set up), but Puck, Eje and Christer were quite succesfull, especially over in the UK, but alas there doesn't seem to be any further episodes in motion. Those Swedes really do know how to make excellent murder mysteries though.
I was pleasantly surprised by Miss Fisher and co though. I watched the first two series after they kept popping up on Netflix when I had nothing else to watch. I find that when this happens I always end up addicted (American Horror Story, Fringe, Orphan Black, Tomorrow's Cantabile). Miss Fisher's wealthy heiress lands in 1920s Melbourne and quickly makes friends (and lovers) with everyone. She is the definition of fabulous. She has suffered in her youth, her younger sister being murdered and her father a terrible gambler, she worked through First World War in France and came out lucky and wealthy the other side. Her and Detective Jack Robinson are the perfect pair (the internet agrees). The show actually has a big following that I never knew about, so of course I embraced the fandom happily. There is talk of a movie to go with the 3 seasons so far.
I'm guessing lots of bunny boiling to appear in the lists this week but I could be wrong. I actually haven't seen Fatal Attraction, somthing to add to next years Blind Spot list because I can wait that long to see it. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.
The Deep Blue Sea
As a new viewer to Terrence Davies films, I was in awe of how beautiful this incredidly depressing and practically poetically tragic this film was. I felt that it could have been a play as it mainly took place in the flat where the affair happens. Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston are brilliant but I find this film had to watch again. Hester, the younger wife of a High Court judge has a 'passionate' affair with former RAF pilot Freddie. She falls hopelessly in love with him but things don't always turn out the way you think.
I wondered why this film was such a big deal for ages as back in 1999 I wasn't old enough to see it. A few years later I borrowed the video from someone and later bought my own copy I was so impressed with it. A brilliant look at suburban families and the secrets they hide. I'm sure everyone remembers the rose petal scenes and the 'beautiful' plastic bag in the wind or the most tragic part of the whole film. At least I thought it was. Having to keep a secret like that or thinking you had and then the other person having to live with it and not say a word. That is painful.
Ah Pedro Almodovar, what a brilliant guy. His films drip with melodramtic beauty, always in vibrant colours, its always perfect. Told in flashback by blind writer Harry who recount his love affair with aspiring actress and how they tried to escape her older controlling and wealthy husband. It wasn't as 'big' as his other films which is surprising as its just as brilliant but the focus isn't really on women, which is what Almodovar is known for.
I feel that I have been quite preoccupied over the past week. Instead of writing my Helsinki post, which will be done this week and instead of writing/watching my Blind Spot pick this month, which will also be done later this week, I have been absorbed by TV.
It might be the new job keeping me tired and lazy so each evening I can't muster up the strenghth to sit at my desk and type. It might be the Helsinki trip itself, prepping, packing, walking, adventuring. It might be my slow month, that seems to happen. Or it could be that my room is very untidy (by my standards) and I can't concentrate properly when its like this. Or it could be my latest obsessions with TV.
The return of Kimmy Schmitt on Netflix was the starting point. I watched a couple of episodes on the last evening in Finland before bed and as soon as I landed home, I watched the rest of the series. I also had many other shows to catch up on, including another show on Netflix that my friend and I are really into. It's my escape as, to be honest, its a tad ridiculous but sometimes you need that.
Not long ago I noticed that Netflix had put out quite a few new TV shows mainly from Japan and South Korea. There was one about schoolgirl detectives that I listed but never watched, then a weekly show based on Japanese manga, Good Morning Call. I was hooked. I was shamefully hooked on this TV show where not much happens and everyone was over reacting to the smallest of things. But in a way, a simple story about a girl who decides to live alone for the last few years of high school but accidently ends up living with the smartest guy in school, is my escapism. At first it was really annoying to have those weekly shows on Netflix, its happened with Orphan Black now too, not cool Netflix. But now, after watching more intense shows, I can catch up with Nao and the gang and I can relax. This type of show is completely different to what I watch now, but then again, I used to love things like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which could be equally silly.
It didn't stop there. Netflix kept suggesting I watch other shows similar to Good Morning Call, so I watched another manga adaptation, Playfull Kiss which is a South Korean comedy drama about a not so academically clever girl who falls in love with a cold really smart popular guy. This one followed similar story to the Japanese TV show - no surprise there, but then it took off and followed the cast as they grew up and went to college and got jobs and so on, all in 16 episodes. Which I watched over a weekend. Oh dear. This show was even more ridiculous.
In the midst of all this I caught up with one my favourite police dramas, Line of Duty, which is about a team of detectives who work for anti-corruption in the Metropolitan Police. I missed the first series bit I was, again, hooked on the second and now the third. I was actually yelling at the TV, again. If you haven't heard of it or haven't seen it, its a BBC drama and its on iplayer now or if you're outside the UK, its online somewhere like Watch Series. Its such a great show and the cast are brilliant. That actually ends this week and most British dramas have a life of 3 series... BUT you never know.
Back to Netflix. Well almost. Of course my ultimate obsession, Agents of SHIELD was taking up mind but now I have a new show I;ve been slowly watching. Another South Korean show, Tomorrow's Cantabile, based again on Japanese manga and this time its set in a music school where two orchestras compete against each other. One with all the typical high achieving musicans, the other with the more lively fun ones. I think I'm enjoying this the most because its about something creative and it sort of reminds me ever so slightly of Mozart in the Jungle, which I loved.
Anyway, that's my poor excuse for the lack of activity on my blog lately. It will pick up.
I've actually not watched that many films about astronaut, most of the film involving space travel or space itself involve astronauts but I usually focus on the story and the theme, usually just plain old sci-fi or horror but sometimes its a family adventure. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.
This 1986 Disney film featuring all the famous actors from yesteryear is about, yes, a Space Camp, where you have all your stereotypes. The misunderstood guy, the try hard go-getter, the genius Valley Girl, the not so confident guy who just loves science and a clever kid who has a pet robot. Well, not all your stereotypes but enough of them to make this film ok to watch. I actually stumbled across this film by accident and almost turned the channel until I realised that the kid was a very young Joaquin Phoenix. The group of misfits end up in space when the Phoenix's robot reprogrammes the rocket ship they are on. Its about team work and putting aside differences. Not the best but it doesn't matter its 80s Disney.
I was bold over by this Danny Boyle film. With a small cast, simple concept and beautiful vision, I really loved this film about a group of astronaunts/scientists who are taking the 'pay load' to reignite the sun. But this is the second trip so not only do the crew come across the first ship and have a mystery on their hands but they also have to complete their mission or Earth will die. Its far fetched but its brilliant at the same time. It also have a brilliant diverse group of actors who all symbolise something different.
Le Voyage dans la Lune
Georges Méliès' masterpiece about a a rocket ship that lands on the Moon and who the astronaunts encounter there. At only 18 minutes it manages to capture such weird and wonderful creations and a story so simple. Released in 1902, Georges Méliès intially sold his film at fair grounds but the exhibitors were reluctant to pay such a high price for the film so Méliès gave a print for a free. The film was so successful an exhibitor bought the film and gave extra money to Méliès for the inconvenience. I've only seen it once and its magical, especially the iconic Man in the Moon.
Fandoms I love but never thought I would? Well, shamefully there are quite a few fandoms out there that I didn't think I'd like but now absolutely love. Funnily enough all my picks were reccomended to me by my Uni friends. We also made up each others film crews so it made sense to listen to them, shame it took me years for a couple of the picks to watch them.
I thank my friend Alex so much for making me watch this show. It was back in Uni and we agreed to do an exchange. I gave her 30 Rock to watch, which she and most of our Film class loved and she watched Battlestar with me. I became addicted to it. She watched the mini series and the first season with me, which was actually alot of fun, I, unlike many others, like to have a heads up of whats going to happen. From that point I watched all the series available, just in time to watch the final season. Apart from last year, I rewatched the whole complete shabang every year, like a pilgrimage. Last year I was too consumed with a host of new shows and of course Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Apollo and Starbuck all the way everyone, Sam who?
American Horror Story
Again, back in Uni, another friend, Kyri, went on and on about this show and I didn't pay attention, mostly because I don't like horror films so thought a series was too much. I caved in one day, years later after I couldn't find anything new to watch on my newly reinstated Netflix. I watched Murder House and Asylum in a few days. I became obsessed. I powered through Coven and impatiently waited for Freak Show, which wasn't as good as its concept. Hotel was better.
This is another show Alex reccomended. I actually watched 2 episodes with her back in 2009 or was it 2010... but she only had it on blu-ray so couldn't borrow it. Then, again, years later I picked up where we left off and yes, you guessed it, I was obsessed. I was disappointed with season 5 so when I rewatched the show (a few times) I skipped that last one. Olivia, Peter, Walter and Astrid are the super group.
My friend Chris recommended this to me, in fact we watched the second season together. I had been put off by this series as I;m not a massive Eliza Dushku fan, I'm still not. But he sold this to me through all the other characters, my favourite being the genius tech nerd, Topher, or as I kept calling him Franz Kranz. Such a great show and like all fans of it, I was so disappointed it only got 2 seasons and a spin off comic.
Another Chris show that was really a long time coming. He told me I'd love it. In fact he, being a long time fan of the show, watched it with Alex during Uni. I caugh a few bits but didn't take the time to sit and watch. Years later, in fact probably less than 2 years ago, my sister, brother-in-law and me, sometimes mum too, all sat down to watch a few episodes each evening. I already knew Laura Palmer's murderer but it didn't ruin the show at all. I loved the crazy soundtrack, the small town-ness of it all, oh and Andy and Lucy saying each other's names was a bonus. Now we just need the show to return, as it said it would. Daaamn fine show!
I've seen this once and never again, mostly because I can't bare to think about themes such as 'the end of the world' and films that have a feeling of no hope in sight. But I'm also not the biggest Charlton Heston fan. He will always be Ben-Hur but thats it. Heston, along with two other astronauts are hurtled throught time and space and land on a planet that is inhabited and ruled by apes. They are the dominant species. Heston's two friends meet awful ends while he tries to escape capture and get back to Earth only to discover the terrible truth that will go down in film history. The fact that one day the apes take over and turned the planet into this, was too much. The ending that was, indeed, brilliant, but just sums up the no hope theme.
Like POTA I've only seen this once. My parents randomly quote this film and I can see why. It's a gentle comedy in my eyes about simple minded Chance the Gardner who has lived a very sheltered life. But when his employer dies, he forced out into the unknown world he only knows through television and is who is mistaken for being a genius called Chauncey Gardiner who everyone, including the President of United States. They all interpret his slow speech and short bizarre sentances as insight to the ecomony and public opinion. The one also has a brilliant ending.
Poor Edward, left alone after the death of his creator and with only terrifying looking scissors for hands. Of course this could only be a Tim Burton film. Edward is found by nosey Avon lady and brought to live with her family. He is given a home, comunity and eventually love but along with all this, hate and prejudice. The character is an odd concept but put the peices, costumes, production design, fear of the unknown and unsual, together and the film is an instant classic.
For those faint of heart and those who don't think swearing on blogs is good (my sister), I've altered a quote from The Dude. All Lebowski fans know it though.
This part was actually meant to be part of my March Watch List but as you can see, there was so much more to say about the film.
The latest Coen Brothers film had been given a lot more attention than their previous films. When the film was released the film definitely earned the 'buzz' it was and had been receiving. It has been called a masterpiece and it has at the same time been puffed up. The posters are misleading as are the trailers. The plot has been called a red herring and as my aunt pointed out, no one has mentioned what is really going on. I explained to her that if all the reviews gave away what was really going on, the audience would not 'get it' or be put off from seeing the film altogether. Let me get one thing straight, I thought the film was brilliant. But I mean everything was brilliant from concept to seeing it on the big screen. If I'm right, this whole orchestration was cleverly put together not only by the Coens but by the production and distribution companies.
On the surface the story seems to be about a famous actor, Baird Whitlock, who is kidnapped by a shady group calling themselves, The Future. Eddie Mannix, head of physical production at Capitol Pictures and what is known in the business as a 'fixer', either stops or prevents any scandalous behavior ofthe studio's stars and creatives out of the press. We go through an average day for Mannix starting with a confession where he talks about lying to his wife about smoking. He then deals with various issues that need his attention and then when the kidnapping lands in his lap he is distracted from smaller things such as the amazing job offer from an aviation company.
Does everyone know that Joel and Ethan edit their own films? They know what they want from the start, before the camera starts rolling. I hope this doesn't make them sound calculating beacuse I admire them and their work.
There is an ominous feeling throughout, right up until the final reveal which is almost an anti climax. This is what the Coens do best. They pull into the story, the characters, the setting, once you've taken it all in, they twist it. You think you've gone to see a film set in 50s Hollywood, the star system in full swing with a kidnapping to add to boot. Well you're half right.
In my opinion, or rather, my theory is that it's all a ruse. A fantastic ruse. There are roles in the film that didn't need to be played by a 'big' name but here they are appearing for a few minutes. Actors of the moment headlining, Scarlett Jonansson and Channing Tatum, draw in the crowd while faithful Coen fans will know Tilda Swinton and Josh Brolin and the like. People who wouldn't necessarily go see a Coen Brothers film will see this (my point has been proven by the way ) film because of the trailers, the supposed story, the actors and the fact it's set in Hollywood. Period pieces set in this place are fascinating.
Now the Coens have their old and new audience's attention. The new see the glitz and the old should see that this is the Coens at their best. It's not really a mystery story it's about history and poking fun at it. It's also a massive 'dig' at Hollywood now.
They are making fun of Hollywood in a way that we see as nostalgic and reminiscent but really every scene has a purpose. They have Tatum playing a sailor singing 'We Ain't Gonna See No Dames' when he's actually a closested actor and he does leave to go to sea. Scarlett Jonansson is playing an angelic mermaid when she's really been having affairs with married directors. Hobie Doyle is the only genuine article, made to look or seem stupid as he's hustled off set having been told 'the studio is changing your image' to be in a broadway play adaptation and given lines he can't say, but he is in fact the most level headed and most sensible of them all.
The mystery of the group calling themselves 'The Future' are half creepy and half idealistic. They trick Baird into joining them, they think through the power of logic but in fact he doesn't understand whats going on and ends up grand standing. Another dig at Hollywood and 'stupid' actors.
Then you have Eddie Mannix who knows, sees and tries to fix all. Of all the things he sees and does, the thing he is most stressed about is lying to his wife about his smoking. It's comical but also quite sweet, as you see in the one scene you see Eddie at home with his family. In the grand scheme of things, this small thing seems trivial compared to a kidnapping, a fake adoption and a news story that could potentially ruin several careers. But lying to his wife about smoking is what keeps Eddie Mannix awake with guilt.
My theories are difficult to explain in writing I think but hopefully it all comes across. I haven't given the game away just in case there are those who haven't seen the film yet.
I was stumped for this theme, mostly because I haven't seen many movies that are so bad that they're actually great. I've seen plenty of bad films that I hated and will never see aagin. I've also seen a few movies that are considered to fit into this theme but I still don't think they're good, such as the famous Tommy Wiseau film The Room. I got through 15 minutes of Birdemic and about 5 minutes of Catwoman. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.
As the release date got closer the hopes that The Wachowskis' film was going to be a reform back to The Matrix days was looking doubtful. Reviews panned it but still, I loved Cloud Atlas, I was determined. It was let down, of course, but I was also very much entertained. From the ridiculous plot to the over the top graphics to seeing Sean Bean and hearing him say the line, 'Bees don't lie'. My friend and I who saw it now have that as our motto. Jupiter who lives on Earth has a rude awakening when she finds out she is actually the reincranation of a ancient family member who owns planets. She just inherited Earth and she has to fight off a trio of British actors villains in order to save it and everyone who lives there while be aided my renergade Wolfman who has flying roller blades. You follow? No? Well it doesn't matter because it showed just how annoying Eddie Redmayne is and his poor acting skills at being evil. Hilarious stuff.
The first time I saw this the whole way through was at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, a favourite hang out that I don't get to go often. It was a special event with the greatest campest host and two women pretending to be Nomi and Cristal. I thought the film was hilarious and I loved shouting out lines and quotes at the screen with everyone else who had obviously seen this before. There were some great life lessons in there apart from the usually zingers from ex-bosses who own strip clubs. I learnt that its ok to mame someone of they insult you and its totally ok to push someone down the stairs, that way you get your name in lights a few days later. I can see why its bad but thats what makes it so good!
I know many many people love this tale of dancing dirty in a Summer resort in the Catskill Mountains and how a 'good' girl and a 'bad' boy get together to dance that iconic dance but in some ways, its so darn cheesy I wince when watching it. BUT, for me, its bad but its good. Not quite a guilty pleasure but not a DVD I own, I could happily make a drinking game out of this but I could slap Baby's face when she just stares with her mouth open.
My friend and I were intrigued for the same reason - Matthias Schoenaerts. But in truth I was more interested in his newest film, Disorder which I missed as it was at the cinema for 1 week only. I really wanted to see this because of Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes. Their chemistry in this film was electrifying. Swinton is rare actress where she is laid back in interviews and seems to take everything in her stride and at the same time be mesmerizing in anything and everything. She character, an almost washed up rockstar hides out on an Italian island with her boyfriend while she recovers from a throat operation. They are intrupted by her ex, music producer and his newly found teenage daughter. She barely speaks throughout the film which was irritating at first but she communicates through action and expression which is perfect as Harry (Fiennes) doesn't stop talking. He is awful and he knows it but they each have a hold over one another and it plays out well. This leaves Paul (Schoenaerts) to be the strong, sober voice of reason and calm throughout. Only Dakota Johnson lets the team down playing the sullen teen pretending to be older. She tries to be mystrious but ends up just getting in the way and acting incestious towards her 'dad'. Labelled as a thriller is an over reach, its a slow burner but at times is hard not to ignore. 3/5
Watch this space. Prepare for theories.
The Big Short
Having read about the film very little, but enjoyed the trailers and the awards buzz around the film being intriguing, I had a spare few hours so went to see this film. The cast was impressive and the maths and logic surrounding the film was intimidating. I tried my best to follow what was actually happening but alas I couldn't follow and I spent the rest of the time trying to work out if something good or bad happened. If it seemed good I ate a caramac button, bad, I ate a cracker. Those were the only snacks I had with me. It was so complicated, even the parts where they 'dummed things down' with help from famous people. The only bit I understood was a scene in a casino. My uncle had read the book but couldn't remember anything about it so I was at a loss as to who could explain any of it to me. But I thought Christian Bale's character or real life person he was based on was good. 2/5
Presinct Seven Five
I missed this as the cinema as it was only on for a week but I saw it cheap so couldn't ignore it. This documentary was about police corruption in 80s Brooklyn, New York. The film focused on a handful of cops who committed crimes, stole money and eventually worked for the mob. Mike Dowd was the most notorious corrupt cop who was eventually arrested and let out on bail, as was his partner Kenny. But only Mike went to trial. It's a brilliant film but I couldn't believe what these cops did, it was insane. I can't explain any further as its a film that you need to see for yourself. 4/5
How can I describe this amazing film from Disney in just a paragraph? I had been excited about this film since it was called Zootopia and the premise was different. An image of a cocky looking fox standing amongst lots of rabbits was sent to me by my all knowing Disney genius friend years ago and until late last year I had heard nothing. Then lots of trailers came out and I felt spoilt. The film delivered more than I expected. In a world where humans (and apes) don't exist but they are all evolved. Prey and predadtors live together is harmony with the city of Zootropolis being the centre of this truce. The city is vast with 12 distinct eco systems but we only get to see a few. Judy Hopps the optimistic hardworking bunny from the burrows becomes the city's first rabbit cop and moves to the big city to fulfil her dream. She is shut down and given a medicore position until she takes on a missing animal case. She teams up with, well, hustles con artist Nick Wilde, a fox, to solve the case. They are a fantastic duo. I love murder mysteries and crime dramas so, when Disney makes one with animals, I was at the preview. Of course to make the story child friendly, its a missing animal not dead animal but still amazing film, story, art, its beautiful to behold. After my second viewing my friend and I thought of the animals missing. No birds, no reptiles, no amphibians and no fish like mammals. But you never know, there could be a sequel? 5/5