Archive for the ‘Location’ Category

Deep Water

May 23, 2017

Australia’s 4-part mini series Deep Water based on the “real life hate murders of… up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (Bondi) beaches in the 1970s and ’80s” (Wikipedia)  might be a hard sell if the quality of production wasn’t so thoughtful. There was a documentary produced in addition to the mini-series. Starring Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Noah Taylor as the detectives who link a gruesome reality of homophobic hate crimes and murders that continued through the present. The current killings are linked to the past as Stone’s Tori Lustigman uncovers a vast ritual of gay bashings dating back 30-40 years ago. Tori’s interest in the case goes from professional to personal jeopardizing the investigation at several key points. Deep Water creates a quiet, steady police procedural eschewing theatrics for methodical detective work which pays off in the end and makes the series easy to watch. Actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor gives good eye candy as Tori’s friend Oscar who we find deeply connected to the past and puts himself into jeopardy to find answers. No denying the subject matter is difficult. The production respectfully honors the story with a steady, kind heart. 4 out of 5.

I watched Deep Water on DVD from the library. Netflix has it on DVD as well and it’s available streaming through Acorn TV.

I Love Dick: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2

May 22, 2017

I was intrigued by the Amazon pilot I Love Dick, Jill Soloway’s (Transparent) new comedy on Amazon which aired earlier this year and got picked up for a full season. Soloway bills it as the first series which looks at the world from a female gaze. I’m paraphrasing there but that idea intrigued me enough to watch the next episode on Amazon.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the characters universal or relatable as in Transparent. To be honest, there was too much posing. The show feels too contrived skewering the hipster world of art and writing. Full disclosure, I read this rather confusing article last evening about Soloway which may have put a damper on my enjoyment of the show. Sometimes I learn too much about the creatives behind a project which colors my feelings. Based on the novel by Chris Kraus, I Love Dick explores a woman following her male partner to Marfa, TX where she explores the meaning of her art and life through an obsession with a self-absorbed male teacher named Dick. Though the premise and pilot intrigued me, I didn’t connect with the series after viewing episode 2. Again, I’m thrilled to not add another series to my list of must-see’s. I didn’t hate Dick, it just got on my nerves. Art hipster posing is not something I look forward to embracing on a rainy evening after dinner. 2.5 out of 5.

Director James Ivory (Merchant Ivory) at the NYC 30th Anniversary Screening of Maurice

May 21, 2017

What an honor to spend an evening watching the 4K remastered version of Merchant Ivory’s Maurice last night. For Maurice’s 30th Anniversary, the Quad Cinema in New York City hosted director James Ivory in a Q&A after the screening of the film. Truly a masterpiece, E.M. Forster’s adaptation felt just as fresh and necessary today as it did 30 years ago. And to think Forster and Ivory had the audacity to leave us with a hopeful ending. A sumptuous feast for romantics at heart. Always a 5 out of 5.

88 year-old James Ivory discussing the making of Merchant Ivory’s Maurice to a sold-out audience at the Quad Cinema in New York City. May 20, 2017.

The River Wild

May 15, 2017

Not sure why but I had a hankering to watch the 1994 Meryl Streep film, The River Wild. I saw it listed on Amazon Video and added it to my queue, but it’s not part of Prime so I would have had to rent it. Luckily we have a copy at the library. It was exactly what I needed. Good escapist fun with a dash of natural American outdoor beauty. And Streep’s the main character whose the skilled white water rafter. All the men play secondary to her. Unfortunately there’s only one interaction between Streep’s character and her mother. So definitely not a Bechdel Test film. Still it was fun and even Kevin Bacon is believable as one of the bad guys after a bit. I truly enjoyed my trip down The River Wild memory lane. 3.5 out of 5.

Fortitude: Season 1 Episode 1

May 7, 2017

Sat down this week and watched the first episode of Fortitude, a murder mystery set in the Arctic. No doubt the exterior shots in this series are off the charts amazing. Fortitude also boasts an impressive cast including Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Stanley Tucci, Dennis Quaid (in Season 2) and a bevy of talented Icelandic, Danish, and Norwegian actors. There are a lot of stories brewing in the first episode. Unfortunately I found the overall tone of the show to be more melodrama than serious drama. I will pass on the rest. 2 out of 5 for Fortitude. Next.

Gosford Park screens at Metrograph (NYC)

May 3, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and Julian Fellowes’ sumptuous pre-Downton Abbey class drama, Gosford Park appears on the big screen next week at Metrograph in NYC. Catch it if you can. Bob Balaban’s going to be there in person for Q&A. From Metrograph,

Gosford Park
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
1:15pm4:15pm7:00pm

2001 / 131min

DIRECTOR: ROBERT ALTMAN

CAST: BOB BALABAN, MAGGIE SMITH, MICHAEL GAMBON, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, CAMILLA RUTHERFORD, CHARLES DANCE, GERALDINE SOMERVILLE, RYAN PHILLIPPE

Introduction and Q&A with Bob Balaban

Robert Altman’s classic whodunit set over a shooting weekend at an English country estate in 1932 features a peerless ensemble cast portraying the upstairs-downstairs array of guests and servants, fusing the spirits of Agatha Christie and Jean Renoir in this arthouse hit. Bob Balaban, who created and produced the movie, plays a holidaying American film producer and joins Metrograph for this one-night-only screening to discuss the film’s production. The screenplay comes courtesy Julian Fellowes, who would continue to dissect the English class system in Downton Abbey.

Contact Metrograph for tickets.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of the triumphant Gosford Park
. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve last seen it.

Sense8: Season 2 (trailer)

May 1, 2017

Are you ready? Four days until Netflix drops the entire second season of Sense8 – the global suspense mystery intersecting race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Eight people from all over this beautiful planet awaken to their supernatural connection. Catch up with Season 1. Or if you’re ready, watch the Season 2 trailer of the only show ever created which combines car chases, tender love, spectacular worldwide locations, mysterious supernatural powers, and psychic orgies. Bring it Wachowskis!

Watch Sense8‘s Season 2 trailer on YouTube.

From my Season 1 review: Sense8 (films)… on four continents spanning Chicago, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Seoul, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City and Nairobi.

‘Maurice’ returns to the big screen 30 years later (LA Blade)

April 29, 2017

My favorite film of all-time, Maurice returns to theaters after 30 years. From the Los Angeles Blade,

It’s been 30 years since “Maurice,” the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumously published novel of gay love, made its theatrical debut.

A lot has happened across that time span, not the least of it being the rapid gains LGBT rights have made, climaxed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage. Two entire generations of gay men suffered the ravages of a deadly AIDS epidemic. In that context, it is striking to see the film again, given all we have achieved since its release.

On the screen many gay love stories have come in “Maurice’s” wake, the most famous being the closeted sheepherder saga “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). But that was a gay love story with an unhappy ending. Those with happy ones like “Maurice” include “Beautiful Thing” (1996), a tale of gay lower middle-class British teenagers, and “Weekend” (2011), about an adult pair of British bohemians. But none have quite the special charge of “Maurice,” stemming from its lush setting and aristocratic-commoner breeding.

E.M. Forster (1879-1970) has long been acknowledged as one of Great Britain’s greatest writers. But he was largely the subject of academic study until the 1980s, when film adaptations of his work made him popular.

Cohen Media Group has re-mastered 30 films by the legendary Merchant Ivory Productions, including Maurice, which is set for release in select theaters this month.

Read the full article at Los Angeles Blade.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of Maurice.

I’m not thrilled with the new 4K poster. It should have James Wilby front and center with Rupert Graves next to him and Hugh Grant fuzzed out in the background. Hopefully the Blu-ray will have better cover art.

Frozen River

April 23, 2017

Watched the beautiful and haunting Frozen River a second time starring Melissa Leo, one of my favorite character actors. Released in 2008, Frozen River tells the desperate story of two women – one white, one Native American who live on the New York/Canada border and stumble into smuggling people from Canada into the U.S. in order to make fast money to help take care of their children. The barren, frozen water which separates the two countries acts as an obvious metaphor for the lives of the women as they struggle against insurmountable odds to thrust their families forward in a positive direction. Directed by Courtney Hunt, Frozen River proves the perfect example of outstanding indie filmmaking. A simple script full of twists, turns, and complications with a messy yet satisfying ending. Filmed entirely in upstate New York in and around Plattsburgh. 5 out of 5 for Melissa Leo and Frozen River.

‘Downton Abbey’ movie will begin filming at ‘the end of this year’ (Cultbox)

April 14, 2017

Amazing news for Downton fans! From Cultbox,

It looks production is finally gearing up for the long-awaited Downton Abbey film.

Rumours surrounding the movie have been going around for over a year now, with a production source announcing in January that “the financing ducks are being lined up very nicely.”

…Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes previously explained the reasons behind the delay: “The thing about Downton is we have a lot of running characters and we really do need them for the movie, so you can imagine at the end of the show they all shot off into shows on Broadway, series in LA, things on television… and they somehow have to gradually be coaxed back into the fold.”

Read the full article on Cultbox.
Stream every episode of Downton Abbey on Amazon Prime.
Buy the DVD or Blu-ray box set on Amazon.

 

 


%d bloggers like this: