Archive for the ‘Location’ Category

Mamma Mia!

June 7, 2018

Full disclosure: I am a huge ABBA fan. Not sure how many people in my life actually know that. After sharing ABBA with my first love, Joe in the 1980’s and his dad Gordon, I’ve kept it under the radar all these years later. I’m not in the closet about ABBA, I’m simply discreet. I listen to them driving my car and belt out the words to their hits. As a result, I adored The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Muriel’s Wedding both of which featured original ABBA music prominently in their soundtracks as well as having characters wax romantically of their love for the Swedish pop band. So why have I never seen either the film or the play, Mamma Mia!? After trying to watch it this weekend, I can only now say instinct. What an awkward mix of actors who can’t belt out the songs appropriately, the thinnest of thinly veiled plots, and a trio of dull suitors for Meryl Streep’s character. All in all, a snooze fest. Best to either hire real singers or just do what Priscilla and Muriel did and play the damn original songs in all their kitschy pop glory. 2 out of 5 for Mamma Mia!. Next.


After Forever: Season 1

May 25, 2018

Web series available on Amazon Prime Video, After Forever tells the story of Brian and Jason, a 50-something couple in New York City. I got very excited about this show for various reasons – I’m in the demographic of the previous sentence aside from the NYC and couple thing. Made it through two brief episodes but couldn’t go any further. After Forever lacked substance and wore its heart on its sleeve to the extreme. And one of the actors had trouble emoting naturally. Really wanted to love this. Damn. 2 out of 5. Next.

Sense8: The Series Finale (trailer)

May 20, 2018

From Netflix,

Together until the end. From our cluster to yours, the Sense8 Series Finale comes to Netflix on June 8 (2018).

No matter the limitations with this series, remembering Sense8 fills me with excitement and hope – a world united in every aspect. A dream which needs to become reality. I will miss these characters. For now let’s celebrate the show as we get once last glimpse at Capheus, Sun, Nomi, Kala, Riley, Wolfgang, Lito, and Will.

Reel Charlie’s review:
Sense8: Season 1
Sense8: A Christmas Special
Sense8: Season 2

Unforgotten: Season 2

May 16, 2018

ITV continues their outstanding new British police procedural with Season 2 of Unforgotten. Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar are back as Cassie and Sunny, partners unearthing historical crimes. Season 1 takes place in the 1970’s. This season we travel back to the 1990’s with several complicated suspects and a huge surprise ending. Don’t be fooled by Unforgotten‘s quiet demeanor. There’s nuance and suspense in this series that feels very adult in ways which overshadow the immaturity of many police shows. 4 out of 5 for this captivating effort.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Photos #downtonexhibition #downtonabbey

May 15, 2018

Photos from my visit to Downton Abbey: The Exhibition on 12 May 2018.

Thomas’ suit

The table setting

A standing mirror with video built into it.


Lady Grantham’s drawing-room with video of Violet’s best lines. Constant laughter at this station.


Daisy’s section. My dog’s namesake.


Rosamund’s hat in a case with gowns in the glass’ reflection.


Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

May 14, 2018

Finally made it Downton Abbey: The Exhibition this weekend in New York City thanks to my dear friend Nina. Three glorious floors of an in-depth look at the sets, costumes, characters and history surrounding this iconic television series. Awe, laughter, goosebumps, smiles and even a few tears shed during our tour of the Crawleys’ estate. Gorgeous curation makes this a must-see for any fan of the series.

That’s me in front of a portrait of Lady Rosamund Painswick played by Samantha Bond.

Visit Downton Abbey: The Exhibition in New York City through June 30, 2018.
Read Reel Charlie’s reviews of Downton Abbey: Season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.


April 17, 2018

Zadie Smith’s 2012 novel, NW gets the BBC treatment starring Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther), Phoebe Fox, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale, The FiveLooking), Cyril Gueï, and Jake Fairbrother. All the components of a stellar issue-driven drama were in place – council flats girls make good, people of color having to be perfect to succeed, pressure to do what is expected, lives broken by systemic poverty and drug use. The actors did their job. In the end, the stories didn’t mesh. It felt like the writer bit off more than she could chew in 90 minutes. Too bad because NW could have been great. Riddled with too many disparate moments which didn’t mesh, I’m giving this a 2 out of 5. Next.

Crooked House

April 10, 2018

Over the course of two days, I managed to watch the new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House. Two days and managed doesn’t sound like much of a ringing endorsement. Fun cast including Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Glenn Close, Honor Kneafsey, Christina Hendricks, Terence Stamp, Julian Sands, and Gillian Anderson. Jullian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) co-adapted the screenplay. Beautiful locations and interiors and it’s Christie so how bad can it be? Flat is more like it. Crooked House has all the elements in place. Why does that happen in film and television where everything’s there to make it great and yet it falls short? It has to be either the direction, the editing, or both. Crooked House simply wasn’t delicious. 2 out of 5. Next.

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes

April 8, 2018

Great BBC home and garden show, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes currently streaming on Netflix. Let’s call it what it is: architecture porn. Architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin travel the globe discovering the most fascinating homes built underground, on mountains, in forests, and by the sea. This is an easy series to watch, especially on a night where you might not want a bad movie, but you also don’t have the concentration for a foreign-language art film. Journey with Piers and Caroline as they explore the inside, outside, history, and reason behind some of the world’s most innovative homes. 4 out of 5.

Howards End – Premieres Sunday 4/8 on STARZ (Goodreads)

April 8, 2018

From my Goodreads alerts,

As a fan of E.M. Forster, we wanted to be the first to let you know that a new STARZ limited series has been adapted from his classic novel Howards End. Written by Academy Award® winning screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Howards End is a contemporary and fresh retelling of the literary masterpiece starring Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice), Philippa Coulthard (Annabelle: Creation), with Tracey Ullman (The Tracey Ullman Show) and Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall).

I’m actually very excited to see this adaptation. Although I adore Forster’s writing and the original Merchant Ivory adaptation – will he ever stop talking about Merchant Ivory? My answer: no – the combination of Lonergan’s (You Can Count on Me) writing and Hettie Macdonald’s (Beautiful Thing) directing makes me hopeful. That’s all I’m going to say because honestly they have a huge bar to clear. Saying I adore Forster and Merchant Ivory’s adaptions is a huge understatement. Fingers crossed for their foray into the delicious world of the Schlegel sisters.

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