Friday, 28 April 2017

TMP Television Edition: Police




Don't forget to check out where it all started over at Wandering Through the Shelves.  

In Plain Sight
I became obsessed with this show about WITSEC agents Mary and Marshall during Uni. I can't remember exactly how but I wanted a new show and bought the first season cheap and the second soon after. I loved it! The later seasons were never released in th UK and I couldn't find the season 3 online. These were the days where I wasn't savy at finding things on the web. To be honest, I'm still not. Seasons 4 and 5 were easier to find but these were the days after Uni so I watched in real time. A great show that ended well and at the right time, a rare thing. Mary is brash and 'tough' while Marshall is very smart and laid back. They are the ultimate duo (kinda) AND they don't get together as that is NOT part of the show. Well, there is a thing about Marshall being in love with Mary but its not like that. If you watch the show, you'll know what I mean. Mary has a messed up family, her mother and sister are terrible useless beings and her Dad disappeared when she was young which is partly the reason why she became an FBI agent and later an agent at Witness Protection. Its not like other police dramas BECAUSE its set in WITSEC. Miss this show.

Luther
Idris Elba's awesome police drama that is actually really 'gritty' and sometimes hard to watch as the criminals are so gad damn scary and disgusting. I was pretty late to the Luther game and I still haven't watched the last series, or two parter(?) but I loved what I saw. Elba is brilliant. He has issues, yes, but so does every great detective ever, well apart from Miss Marple, she's doing ok. Anyway, Luther is a kind of by the book, loose cannon who always finds and gets the criminal apart from psycho Alice. It's a shame the series were so short.

Brooklyn Nine Nine
Amongst the serious police dramas, there had to be a comedy of epic proportions. Brooklyn Nine Nine is hilarious. Its meant to be a sitcom but I think it breaks barriers and is an outright comedy show. Unless it is called that now, then ignore that bit. The cast is so well molded and actually develop throughout the seasons (still going strong) which is always a good sign for comedies. Plus some of the cases have some odd outcomes, not always good or in the cops' favour which makes for a slightly realistic tone to the show. Like the mighty Parks & Rec, its a happy show. The characters are nice to each other and are a family which is what is needed otherwise shows just end up being about mean nasty people.

Line of Duty
I missed series one of this amazing show about AC-12 (Anti Corruption) but I was hooked on 2, 3 and now 4. The story in each series is gripping. They each play out like a thriller over 8 episodes with brilliantly executed cliffhangers every time. Steve and Kate are another fantastic example of an ultimate duo are again, friends. But its seems that the partner/romance thing is usually used in US dramas and the UK is more platonic, sorry but we do that better. Line of Duty, apart from its edge your seat watching, it also focuses on a completely different team than other police dramas.

Endeavour
This would have been a period drama pick BUT its about one of the most famous detectives on the small screen, Morse, but its young Morse, in the 60s. What's not to love? With only a sparingly 4 episodes per series (need more) each story is like a well crafted crime story film. Shaun Evans is superb as Endeavour Morse channeling John Thaw but putting his spin on the legend too. I was hooked on every series but I think the Great Gatsby-esque episode from series 3 was a definite highlight.The new series to hurry and be here already!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

April Watch List


Apologies for the way this post looks. I spent hours trying to fix this. I wrote it out twice and twice blogger deleted it and froze.


The Legend of Tarzan
So this was 99p to rent on itunes so I thought what the hell. But its rather silly and I think Christoph Waltz knew that too as he doesn't seem to change his half amused expression even when faced with certain death. The story is about John Clayton III, the fifth Earl of Greystoke, now back in England and married to the very annoying American(?) Jane who whines about wanting to go back to Africa, 'her home'. When the opportunity arises, they go with Samuel L Jackson after they are invited by the King of Belgium for some nefarious reason. Tarzan and Jane are welcomed back but trouble soon starts, in the form of guns, solider, rail roads and secret slave trafficking. Margot Robbie is terrible in this and Alexander Skarsgård deserved better. 2/5

Bird on a Wire
This was a pick from for a theme one week for Thursday Movie Picks that I was so excited to see after I looked up the trailer. It was exactly what I hoped for. A typical early 90s action/drama/rom-com with the 90s biggest stars, Mel Gibson (before the crazy) and Goldie Hawn. He's a former lover who went into the witness protection programme and she is a successful business women of some sort. By accident they meet but when some criminal former acquaintances of Gibson shows up, the two have to go on the run and its actually really funny. But silly. 3/5 


I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

I understand the worry about indie films being buried on Netflix. It means that it might not get the views it deserves. I saw this trailer for this weird little gem about a woman who is burgled and decides to get her belongings back, and thought, 'yes I want to see this'. Then I forgot about it. Luckily it popped up went through my list and I settled in. It was in danger of becoming one of those really sad films I seem to be watching lately but thank gad there was a bit of redemption. Proof you can go on a rollercoaster and still feel the emotions without f***ing everything up. That aside, Melaine Lynskey and Elijah Wood make an epic and odd duo when the former decides to take back her stolen property. This leads on to violent situations. Its much simpler than the title which I sometimes think but its great film if a little thin. 3/5

Heal the Living 


There are two reviews of this from me, one from the BFI London Film Festival and the more recent one for Vulture Hound. 3/5


Spaceship 


Missed this at the festival but got to see it and reviewed it for Vulture Hound. 3/5
 



Their Finest

I can't talk about this right now. It was a brilliant amazing film until 10 minutes before the end when it plummeted into 'What's the actual point'. Still, very good movie. Just fed up of pointless sad films. Also I would have given this 5/5 but seriously annoyed by the ending, just in case this wasn't clear. I was even thinking about what I was going to say during the film and when I could watch again on DVD....but nope. 3/5

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: A Disappearance

I'm sitting at the airport so this will be a quick-ish fire round.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at Wandering Through the Shelves.  

Gone Girl
David Fincher's adaptation of Gone Girl was both amazing and horrifying and made women look crazy and evil as well clever but desperate.  Amy disappears, assumed dead after the amount of blood stained on the floor. Her husband Nick is the prime suspect. He is an average guy who is treated terribly to be honest even if he is a cheating bastard. But she is an underestimated spoilt bitch. She makes a fair point with her 'cool girl' speech but her revenge is bitter not sweet.


Picnic at Hanging Rock
I really hated this film about a group of school girls I'm Australia who disappear one afternoon. Some of them return refusing to say what happened while one girl is never found. It's treated like a real life mystery story but it's not. There is no real explanation but as my last pick proves it may be better not to know.


The Vanishing 

The draw backs to typing on your phone. You press a button back to many times and you lose the picture you picked. So there was a picture but dumb phone deleted it.

I watched both the original and terrible American remake and did prefer the remake but only because the ending was bearable. Happy young couple Rex and Saskia are on a road trip and they stop at a service station for drinks. But in within a few minutes Saskia disappears and all that's left is two spilt drinks on the ground. This is in broad daylight. Still haunted by the event years later, Rex is still looking for her. He goes on TV saying he just wishes to find out what happened to her and the kidnapper contacts him. It's such a awful ending that I wonder why the US remade it.


13 Reasons Why 13 Reasons Why Is Difficult to Watch


Warning for those who haven't seen the show, there may be some SPOILERS.

I don't usually indulge in TV posts (unless they are about Agents of SHIELD, so expect one of those soon) but 13 Reasons Why really got to me. As I get older I find it harder to watch certain things. My sister has said a few times she can't watch something because its too violent and made fun of her. I shouldn't have. There are things I can't watch because they are straight up terrifying but I've never liked horror films. But is depressing or desparetely sad stories that I try to avoid now. 13 Reasons Why looked interesting from the promo trailers but once it was released I couldn't watch it. I waited until I rewatched a film that always cheers me up and then started. I found it difficult to get through and I wondered if this was just me.

1. When it comes to 'teen dramas' they are usually taken the same way a 'teen comedy' is viewed, its either a coming of age story or its a coming of age comedy. As this is not a typical 'teen' show, you get the feeling from the start its

2. High School is everything to people. Having gone through school, Secondary and College I don't feel that they were everything. Well, College was actually really fun and I met some of my best friends there but Seconadry school? I hated school. I really hated school. So I find it hard to understand how it means everything to people. Maybe its translation thing? But I do understand the loneliness that the charcters go through. We've all felt that during school at some point. I certainly felt that way from 12-14 years old. When you see you own pain mirrored, even in a minor way, you don't want to relive it.

3. The unreliable narrator. I usually don't mind this storytelling device but unlike having Mary Alice's ghost narrate a story, watching over her friends as they try to work out why she died, this was a whole lot more painful. Hannah's voice looms in on the tapes an everytime you hear her, you know its never anything good. Having her being unreliable makes the story interesting with small twists like Zach not throwing away the note, makes it clear that as Tony points out this is Hannah's truth. But I think the fact she is dead and her voice is still around, makes everything seem like the truth and nothing but the truth.

4. It's a difficult subject, but then again, anything covering or exploring a difficult subject is going to be hard to watch.

5. Mr Porter useless mumbly voice and his non reactions to anything.

6. This is more of a future thought for the possible second season, but the hint about Tyler and the possible storyline there makes me uncomfortable and something I don't think should be explored.

7. The scene with Hannah's parents where they find her.

8. Everyone is helpless. Throughout the show there is a rare moment of happiness and I find that really hard to watch. I had to watch clips from Parks and Recreation in between just so I didn't get too bogged down.

9. No justice, or there doesn't feel like there is any justice. This probably links into number 13.

10. Despite the subject matter, the series is very serious. There is literally no downtime from the story, not one character can joke around, not even for a second, which is a shame. With the dark you need, even just a shimmer of light.

11. It's too long and drawn out. I feel that Clay could have got through the tapes in half the time with enough to grieve too.

12. Hannah + Clay and what could have been.


13. As I didn't watch the show straight away, when I looked up the show, just for info nor for spoilers, when I saw there was second series planned, I got annoyed. Why does everything have to have a sequel? With that thought looming over the series, made me think the whole way through, what the hell is the point of a second series? I know there are questions left open about the other characters but Hannah's story is well and truely over. Unless, she doesn return in a Mary Alice type role...I think that would be even more painful.

Monday, 17 April 2017

BFI London Film Festival - Lady Macbeth


This seems odd writing about a film I saw in October, only because I really don't have a proper reason why I left it.

Lady Macbeth was in the debut feature film section and I liked the sound of the story. It was a last minute decision and usually, those are the good ones. I'm still obsessed with seeing Fiore again with no luck and that was a last minute pick. Trust your gut.

One of the Creative England supported iFeatures, Lady Macbeth is the first festure film from William Oldroyd and it is rather a twisted tale with a passionate and dangerous love affair, a fearless woman and a harrowing murder scene.


Based on the novel 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District' by Nikolai Leskov, the Victorian set story is about Katherine, practically sold into an unhappy marriage where she is humiliated by her husband and treated like property by her father-in-law. Left alone in a large empty house day after day, Katherine is soured but after an awful encounter with new stable-hand, Sebastian, she begins an affair which turns into a passionate romance. She ignores social standing by flaunting her affair which grabs the wrong people's attention and she soons has to take drastic measures to gain control.

This could be a doomed romance but there is something cruel in most characters from the start. Katherine is definitely against the typical herione grain as she appears to be the victim from the start but transforms into a murderer. She truely is a Lady Macbeth as she forces Sebastian's hand too, at first its so they can be together but later becomes for financial gain as well as their 'love'. The cast are fantastic but Florence Pugh as Katherine has been recieving well deserved praise for her part.


The twists and turns from this film, has as mentioned, include a rather long and disturbing murder, but this isn't what sets this story apart from other period dramas. The source material of course gives a simple story that feels dirty and cruel, but there is something daring about the film that makes you watch, no matter how uncomfortable or terrible it gets, you can't look away.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Around the World: India


Its been a quiet few weeks without any 'Around the World' posts, but I can explain. There has been a hell of a lot going on. Unfortunately not things happening on the blog, but things off the web.

After watching a series of serious and somewhat disturbing films, I needed something light. The Lunchbox, originally part of a gift box from the 'Perfect Stranger' project, was the right choice. A light and delicate romance of sorts but a perfect antidote to the other such horrors before. The film had been on my mind as Ritesh Batra's latest film, Sense of an Ending, is being released this week.

 
Illa is a young housewife who is trying to get her husband to notice her and reignite their marriage. She decides that this can be achieved through his stomach so makes up his lunchbox each day with great care. It is then delivered by the Lunchbox Delivery Service who accidentally give the box to grumpy closed off widower Saajan. Since Saajan enjoys her food, the two start sending messages to each other which grows into a tender sweet romance. Each have their own issues in the past and in the present, he is taking early retirement and she discovers her husband's affair. But when Illa proposes they meet, Saajan has doubts.

The story doesn't feel like a film of two halves, even though the two leads barely have screen time together. The voiceover of each reading their letter keeps them connected and even though their messages vary from simple observations to deep meaningful thoughts, there always something left unsaid. I had hoped that Illa would progress but she seems constant until near the end whereas Saajan opens up to others, makes a friend, attends a wedding and has a brighter outlook, which may because he doesn't have any dependants, unlike Illa who has her daughter and parents to worry about. A great addition to the story is the voice of Illa's upstairs neighbour who is almost like a conscience who helps with the cooking and life advice, she is never seen, only heard and given a back story.

Over all, I personally felt the ending was cut short and wasn't left in a satisfactor way as it doesn't even feel open ended.


Next up... check out all the films HERE.



Monday, 10 April 2017

Tell No One (Else)


For those who aren't in the know about Secret Cinema #TellNoOne you need to get to the website asap, it is HERE. It all started years ago but these days its a massive event. Each year they top themselves with another amazing show. It used to be smaller events in and around London where you either knew the film and dressed up accordingly or you arrived where the instructions said she you got to see a surprise film while immersed in the world of the film too. A few years back Secret Cinema announced they were going to do Back to the Future and as one of those lucky people who went along, it did not disappoint. It did have a highly public start where they weren't ready for opening day but after that it was rave reviews! They literally built Hill Valley. The film was projected onto the clock tower and like all the events, parts of the film was acted out. Complete with the delorean and Doc zip wiring in the lightening scene, it was one of the best days out ever!

I was lucky to get a free ticket to The Grand Budapest Hotel event to, but this was to celebrate the release. It was wonderful and whimsical but as I hadn't seen the film, it wasn't the same as seeing your favourite classic played out in front of you. A couple of years ago they created Empire Strikes Back which I was so sorry to miss out on simply because the tickets were crazy expensive, £75 crazy. But I still regret not going. This is the down side of these events. The cost. Not only is it the ticket, but its the cost of the costume, the food and drinks are quite pricey too BUT if you love the film, its worth the effort.

Last year they brought us 28 Days Later as a surprise and Dirty Dancing, which despite it being a very cheesy film, the event looked so much fun!

 
This year though they made another favorite of mine, Moulin Rouge.

But as this is 'secret' cinema, I won't go into details as Secret Cinema has just added extra dates. But if you look as what they've done in the past, you know this will be good.

You are truely immersed into Montmarte in 1900 or is it 1899, especially if you have gone the whole way and dressed up. Everyone who comes to these events really do go all out and thats part of the fun. You interact with the actors and the people there and take in everything. It feels like walking out onto a film set as every little detail is important. What was different for this musical extravaganza was that along with your ticket, you were given a character to play, a real life person from the time of the story. I was Else Berg, art dealer, painter. You're given instructions to find certain people and its worth a try as you never know what hidden gems yo may find.

Its so good Baz Luhrmann himself showed up!


Not only are you immersed into the world, don't forget you also get to see the film. Its always fund to see how they come up with new ways to see it, along amazing live performances with parts acted out. It really doesn't disappoint.

There aren't any photos as well, its secret and its more fun that way. But you can see teasers on the Instagram page.

Fancy joining #SocietyofLove ? You can book HERE.

Few tips if you do go:

-It may be Montmarte but drinks and food can be expensive, but think London prices, £8 cocktails etc. Try the crepes, they're delicious! 
-They have a cloak room in the Antique Shop so if you have to come from work, don't worry, you don't have to lug your bags around
-There are three different types of tickets which means three different types of seating. If you're a Creature of the Underworld, be prepared to stand throughout the film.
-This has come up a few times, there are toilets, lots in fact, but you have to go through the big tent where the food places are to find them.
-In a twist, its CARD PAYEMENTS ONLY at this event
-If you're going to go with a corset, just remember, comfort of style.

Hope you do indeed check it out as it is so much fun!


Sunday, 9 April 2017

March Watch List


I know its late but March was a hell of busy month. This will be a quick fire round of the films I watched this month...although I think I watched more but can't seem to place the dates.

Hidden Figures
Fantastic and hell yes inspiring story about three amazing women overlooked at NASA. But they made things happen for themselves which is far better than having it handed to them. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Goble Johnson were all exceptional women and played to perfection by the amazing cast. 4/5

Equals
Released with little fanfare which is a shame as this futuristic highly organised dystopian so called utopia world is fascinating. Everyone in The Collective has no emotions. Everything is dealt with in a logical clinical way, but as people start to wake up from this coma and discover feelings, it is seen as an illness, even by the people who have it. The story is really about Nia and Silas who have the 'Switched on Syndrome' and fall in love and then have to hide it (not very well) from everyone. What I would have liked to know is how the Collective was created and more info on what happened before. 3/5

Moonlight
Argued with my aun about this beautifully made film, she said it was an arthouse film and I said that part of the beauty of this film is that it wasn't. It is about three stages in Chiron's life and the moments and people that influence his being. At first I was worried it was a run od the mill story but underneath there is so much more. So much is said in glances and expressions which makes the story and characters more heartbreaking. A well deserved win at the Oscars. 5/5

Swallows and Amazons
A little twee from the outside but its actually a perfectly well structured story with adventure, 50s nostalgia and amazing views of the Lake District. Four children, brothers and sisters, with their own skills and talents go on holiday and sail in Swallow to the island in the middle of a lake, from their they meet two sisters, locals and theor boat Amazon. There is light story about spies and cakes and growing up and all that lark. It reminds me of The Famous Five so I loved it even if it was a tad predictable. 3/5

Beauty and the Beast
I was a skeptic from the announcement and I remain one. First off, the classic Disney is honoured as well as spat upon with this film. Emma Watson was and is a terrible choice for Belle. She has a cutting face and ruins the songs, very disappointing. The Beast CGI was beyond irritating, the original mask would have been so much better. The added story about Belle and Beast's mothers was pointless and rather ruined the story flow. Gaston and LaFou were the best part of the film. I did watch this film through rose tinited eyes or rather, I was sitting an amazing old cinema in Florence with one of my best friends who is Disney obsessed so it made the experience a whole lot better. 3/5

Kong: Skull Island
This was a by the book 'how to make a blockbuster' and an excellent distraction from the line of serious films I had been seeing. A crazy guy and his scientist pal convince the goverment to let them tage along on a geographical mapping trip so he can prove monsters exist. On Skull Island they find more than they bargained for, Kong basically. With an array of interesting paper thin characters to guide us and playing 'who is going to die next' as well as some truely awful monsters joining Kong. I think a favourite scene of mine is Kong casually drinking some water and then wrestles a HUGE squid. Great stuff. 3/5

Neruda 
 Saw this way back in either December or January I can't remember, but it was amazing. Review for VultureHound can be found HERE. 4/5

Edge of Seveteen 

This was also a review for VultureHound which be read HERE. 3/5

The Accountant 
 A terrible movie with Affleck in it. He was on a role but now seems to be diving again. I blame Batman. My review for VultureHound can be read HERE. 2/5

Ghost in the Shell 
 Better than I expected, still with a few major issues BUT can be overlooked if taken as a sci-fi film rather than a remake. Note, I've not seen the original film nor read the manga. Review for VultureHound is HERE. 3/5

Free Fire
I have literally been dying to see this film ever since I read it mentioned when High-Rise came out. Ben Whaetly looks like he is going from great to awesome with each film. Some Irish guys want to buy guns so they travel to a warehouse to meet the dealer, but with all shady deals, things don't quite go according to plan. The whole film is a shootout but its so very entertaining. Each character bring something awful, amsuing, dangerous or just charming to the table is so gad damn good. 4/5

Logan 
Said to be the best X-Men movie. Its good, its very good but I wouldn't go that far. Wolverine redeems himself from the other terrible singular adventures he's had and is now an old man. Not healing as fast as he should, drives a limo for money and hides out in the desert with Xaiver who is in a far worse condition than him. With no new mutants born in the last 25 years, the landscape is very different. The fate of our other favourites is hinted at by never confirmed, which is painful but it also doesn't shift focus. Children have been experimented on and given mutant DNA which is where X23 comes in. She is part of the 'new batch' science has given us and the hope mutants will live on and where theres trouble or struggle for survival, there is Wolverine driving or clawing people. Its a violent film but its not glorifying it. Its a violent new world the story is set in and brings the realities of powerful people and how they suffer to the surface. Part road trip, part bonding, part sci-fi/comicbook tale, its a hybrid, just its lead character. But does this spell the end of the X-Men movies? What with hints of 'New Mutants' and 'Legion' TV series, the hope is still there. 4/5