Archive for the ‘Suspense’ Category

Prison Break: Event Series

August 9, 2017

A lot has changed in the twelve years since Prison Break premiered on Fox in 2005. American television kept climbing until the best industry people take time to create phenomenal series truly elevating the medium to an art form. Which makes it more and more difficult for me to watch mediocrity. I loved the escapist comfort food of Prison Break back in the day. The series took me out of my world and allowed me to spend time… well if truth be told, I spent time fantasizing about a threesome with Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller. Fast-forward 12 years. Dominic Purcell is still broodingly masculine. Wentworth Miller got a little closer to my reality by coming out of the closet. And my taste in television got a lot more sophisticated thanks to the dearth of outstanding choices from streaming services, premium cable channels and even a few broadcast shows. Too bad the new incarnation of Prison Break just doesn’t hold my attention. Dominic and Wentworth are still sexy as all hell. But I need my eye candy with a sophisticated plot and outstanding writing. Golden Age of Television: you’ve spoiled me for the pretty boys. 2.5 out of 5. Next.

The Great British Baking Show: Season 4

August 6, 2017

What reality show makes you cry with happiness over the contestants? What reality show proves kindness trumps selfishness? What reality show makes me forget all the world’s problems for an hour each episode? Those are just a few of the marvelous things The Great British Baking Show does for me each time I watch. Season 4 exceeded all my expectations. More fun from the hosts and judges. More outstanding bakes from the diverse and cordial contestants. By the time the show got down to the top 5, it was anyone’s win. And through the final bake, any finalist could have snagged the crown, err cake stand. I thank my lucky stars for the break from the horrors of our current reality. Thank you to the creators and producers of The Great British Baking Show for giving us outstanding entertainment and hope for the human race. XOXO. 5 out of 5 for this classic reality television series.

Did you pick this season’s winner?

 

Ozark

August 1, 2017

Laura Linney and Jason Bateman star as married couple Wendy and Marty Byrd in Netflix’s new creepy crime drama, Ozark. There’s now a solid sub-genre of crime drama where an otherwise ordinary person or family gets involved in high crime. I’m not talking white-collar crime. I’m talking kill people and dissolve them in acid crime. Ozark definitely follows this trend as a child of Breaking Bad. And that’s not a bad thing. Especially when the acting is top-notch and the location shoot is beautifully eerie. There are of course the many plot thrusters which have to be ignored, such as people not hearing gun shots from close range, police not being called when someone destroys a hotel room, or FBI agents drinking on the job. But if you can suspend your belief for an hour at a time, you’ll be rewarded with a scary and exciting first season of life in rural Midwest. Yes, there’s a few scenes that are disgusting. But it’s fun and worth the watch if you can stand the violence. 4 out of 5.

Okja

July 2, 2017

Netflix hit one out of the park with their new feature film, Okja. I haven’t felt this excited about the creative expressions of a film in a very long time. I keep thinking of I Heart Huckabees, even though the films aren’t even close to being similar. The artistic chances Okja takes and where it succeeds remind me of the best film making can do. Okja transports the viewer through humor, absurdity, and consciousness all wrapped up in a movie which tells the simple story of a little girl, her big pig and the lifetime love these two beings share. Filmed in South Korea and the U.S., I wanted to recommend this to my niece and nephew’s kids, but like any good creatively forward film the creators of Okja break convention and have some of the characters swear like sailors. So this is a film for “kids” who are old enough to understand the nuance of the word fuck. Directed by South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho (Snow Piercer, Mother), Okja takes the best fairy tale, animal rights activism, corporate greed, and bumbling humans everywhere mixing it up and putting it in his slow cooker until the subjects and genres blend into the most delicious cinematic experience. Outstanding cast featuring Tilda Swinton, Hee-Bong Byun, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Daniel Henshall, Lily Collins, Jihoon Park, Devon Bostick and introducing Seo-Hyun Ahn to American audiences as Mija. Darius Khondji’s (Amour, Se7en) gorgeous cinematography makes the crazy good animation seem all the more real. Bravo to the cast and crew. I’ve been avoiding watching the slew of factory farm documentaries out there because I knew I’d have to give up eating most meat. Okja provided a much-needed push in that direction. I want to watch more Bong Joon-ho’s films. Okja made my senses come alive. 5 out of 5 for this complex and masterful film.

Sense8: Season 2

May 30, 2017

Took my damn sweet time making my way through the triumphantly gorgeous insanity that is Sense 8: Season 2.

Sun Bak
Riley Blue
Wolfgang Bogdanow
Kala Dandekar
Will Gorski
Nomi Marks
Capheus “Van Damme” Onyango
Lito Rodriguez

Seoul
London
Berlin
Mumbai
Chicago
San Francisco
Nairobi
Mexico City

Eight humans in eight cities around the globe connected both mentally and emotionally. We discover more about their origin in Season 2. More about Whispers and why they are being hunted. Some episodes are violent, some are corny, all are full of love. Sense8 breaks Sci-Fi barriers leading with love… friendship, romantic, familial, no matter what color, religion, gender, or sexuality. All are equal. All are full of love. I can’t stop thinking about this beautiful series. Sense8 continues to be flawed, but that’s part of its beauty. It’s busting through convention, experimenting with many different tools to tell their story. It’s contemporary, hip, sexy as all hell, nerdy, fun, dangerous, and dark with flashes of evil. These eight characters represent the future of humanity. We need to connect with others around the planet. Share what makes us unique and bond over what makes us the same. I’m excited to continue the journey hoping Season 3 will happen in 2018. Meanwhile discover, revisit, embrace Capheus, Kala, Lito, Nomi, Riley, Sun, Will, and Wolfgang streaming on Netflix. 4 out of 5 for their brave new world.

 

 

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.

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.

The Weissensee Saga: Season 1, Ep. 1

April 18, 2017

I read a great review of Germany’s The Weissensee Saga television series based on the final years of  East Berlin in the 1980s. I expected higher quality production values and writing from the series. Instead the first episode felt like a soap opera which is not what I was in the mood for. Too bad. Great premise. Oh well, onto the next possibility. I do love the fact we are getting access to a world of television. The Weissensee Saga came to me on DVD. 2 out of 5. Next.

The OA: Season 1 (take 2)

March 14, 2017

Click below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of Netflix’s The OA after a second viewing. Still as exciting and mysterious.

Grr Argh

March 10, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Buffy the Vampire Slayer who turns 20 today.

My favorite episode is Hush. What’s yours?

Hat tip to NPR. Second hat tip to my dear friend Alex who continues to see this show as his all-time favorite.


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