Archive for the ‘Suspense’ Category

The Bureau: Season 1, Episode 1

July 8, 2018

Caught the first episode tonight of the French spy thriller, The Bureau.  It’s really, really good. If you have ever been a fan of Homeland or The Americans or any spy film, you will want to check this out. From Vulture,

When it comes to high-stakes TV spy thrillers, sure, Homeland and The Americans have delivered their share of riveting moments.

But by far the series practicing the best spycraft these days is France’s The Bureau. An intricately plotted show rooted in real-world geopolitical events, it follows agents operating within the DGSE intelligence service, the Gallic version of the CIA. Mathieu Kassovitz (Amélie, Munich) stars as Guillaume “Malotru” Debailly, an undercover agent recalled to Paris after six years in Syria, who can’t quite give up his alias. Suffering from le syndrome du clandestin — post-mission disorder — Guillaume tries to adjust to a quotidian work life supervising agents, and reconnecting with his teenage daughter, Prune. His life becomes more complicated when he discovers Nadia El Mansour, the married professor with whom he was having an affair in Damascus, is in Paris.

Here are four other reasons to check out the show the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics named France’s best TV series tout de suite on subscription service Sundance Now.

I caught The Bureau on DVD from the library. If you don’t have a subscription to Sundance Now, ask your library to order the series. Foreign television does very well in our system. I’m not going to continue watching the series, because for some reason, I’m not connecting with it, but it’s extremely well-done. 3 out of 5.

Read the full article on Vulture.

Advertisements

Safe (2018)

June 4, 2018

Not to be confused with Todd HaynesSafe, an amazing 1995 indie film starring Julianne Moore – Netflix import, Safe starring Michael C. Hall simply didn’t grab me. I’m not always up for a missing persons story turning into a soap opera. There’s more than a bit of an ick factor when filmmakers cross that line. Either make fun of a serious genre ala John Waters or be true and tell a compelling story. Safe simply relied on too many worn out tropes. 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.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 1

March 18, 2018

Released this week on disk, Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s book, The Handmaid’s Tale exceeds all expectations. Why? Well first there’s the obvious: the production value swings off the charts – writing, directing, acting, costumes, set design, cinematography all outstanding. The tenor of the production brought literal chills to my body. By episode three I was curled up in a ball on the sofa. The Handmaid’s Tale might possibly be the first excellent television series I don’t suggest binging on. Let the terror settle in a bit similar to how Hulu released it – one episode per week. But the real reason I felt wrecked to my core was that this 1985 Sci-Fi novel now reads as a warning to our potential future. And not something in the distant future we need to pay heed. Instead it feels very much like the possibility of what might happen to our country if Trump walks away from the Presidency for even more greed and power leaving the executive branch shattered and ripe for Pence and his insane far-right christian cronies to take over the country once and for all declaring martial law on all of our freedoms. And by all I mean every woman, all men who don’t follow strict heteronormative behavior, people of color, the poor and disenfranchised and my own personal group – LGBTQ folk. So the creators at Hulu have done their job well scaring the shit out of me and making The Handmaid’s Tale a call to arms. Each of us is required to do what we can to keep these lunatics not only at bay, but to bury this hatred for diversity and freedom once and for all. Love truly must win in all its beautiful colors and permutations.

Shout out to a crazy great cast including Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Strahovski, Max Minghella, Amanda Brugel, Joseph Fiennes, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Ann Dowd (shudder), and Alexis Bledel (shattering her Rory Gilmore curse forever). Words cannot describe how visceral my reaction to The Handmaid’s Tale has been. It deserves all the praise your friends have doled out, it deserves all the awards, it’s deserves attention and it deserves to be an artistic warning to every decent human being to do everything in their power to crush this hatred and darkness in humanity once and for all. 5 out of 5.

TCM Big Screen Classics Presents “Vertigo”: A Special 60th Anniversary Event (Fathom Events)

March 7, 2018

Vertigo comes to the big screen! From Fathom Events,

Considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest cinematic achievements, Vertigo is a dreamlike thriller from the Master of Suspense. Set in San Francisco, the film creates a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder after an acrophobic detective (James Stewart) rescues a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) from the bay and must unravel the secrets of the past to find the key to his future.

This 60th Anniversary event includes exclusive insight from TCM host Eddie Muller.

Click on the image below and find out where the closest theater is in your area showing this Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece.

Travelers: Season 2

January 8, 2018

Netflix continues importing the Canadian Sci-Fi comfort food show, Travelers. And boy am I happy. Season 2 finds the five travelers from the future digging deeper into their host bodies’ lives. More than one mistake is made, but of course these are humans from a world ruled by AI, so it’s almost encouraged they screw up. I love the interplay between the team. Eric McCormack holds his own as star and producer. Just as strong are his team, MacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman, and Patrick Gilmore who plays non-traveler David. Travelers proves to be the perfect winter comfort food show. Especially if you’re looking for low-key Sci-Fi with little CGI. Travelers is definitely more about the human experience. I’m up-ing my rating to a 4 out of 5. Would definitely watch this again.

Fargo: Season 3, Episodes 1 & 2

December 17, 2017

I’m not sure what precisely wore me down about Season 3 of the television series, Fargo. In the end, I think I got tired of the gratuitous hipster violence. It managed to work for the first two seasons. But I just couldn’t stomach it nor could I get into the story for season 3. Not even with two freakish Ewan McGregors battling it out with Midwest American accents. Plus there’s all the TMZ drama of McGregor and his co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead not just hooking up, but he left his wife of 22 years to be with her. Damn. Still not enough to get me to keep watching. Actually Winstead’s character worked my last nerve. So goodbye Fargo. It was great fun while it lasted. Season 3 gets a 2 out of 5. Next.

Suspect

December 3, 2017

Suspect: Cher, Dennis Quaid, the 80’s. What’s not to love about this minor Cher film co-starring the adorable if not one-dimensional Dennis Quaid? She’s an assistant D.A. in Washington DC. He’s a lobbyist for the dairy industry. Sexy yet? It’s Cher and Dennis Quaid. The plot is irrelevant. I’ve always liked this film. Probably a bit more than it deserves. It’s got 80’s written all over it. Still it’s Cher. And Dennis Quaid is the only actor who takes off their shirt during the film. Someone was paying attention. There’s courtroom suspense, there’s Capital Hill drama. There’s a happy ending. Some of you might want to give Suspect a 3. I give it a 4. It’s Cher for chrissakes. Can I hear a hoah! 4 out of 5 for Suspect.

Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

November 14, 2017

In anticipation of the new Branagh 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, I ordered the British television 2010 version for the library. I had a blast watching this adaptation. It stars David Suchet as Poirot and includes a strong supporting cast featuring Eileen Atkins, Jessica Chastain, Barbara Hershey, Hugh Bonneville, David Morrissey, Brian J. Smith, and Samuel West. Without even seeing the remake, I know it’s a simpler film than Branagh’s big budget release. As a result, the film relies on the talents of the director, writer, and cast. Murder on the Orient Express offers real comfort food whodunit excitement. 4 out of 5 for this Agatha Christie classic adaptation.


%d bloggers like this: