Monday, 23 November 2020

Lately I've Been Watching...

The latest in my series of mini TV reviews, with trailers and 'where to watch'.  If you have trouble finding where any show/film is available, try typing 'where can I watch *name of show*' into Google.

If you would like to see more posts, please click here: Lately I've Been Watching.  If you get as far as the bottom, 'Older Posts' will take you to more.

Please note the subtle difference between half star ratings; a 4.5 might be rounded up or down, depending on what I thought of the programme.

 

Series: See - Season 1 (Apple TV only, it seems - you can always just get the free trial!)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved this!!!  And not just because the glorious Jason Momoa stars, honestly.  The basic story: a 21st century pandemic killed off most of the world's population.  Since then, all humans have been born blind.  500 years later, anyone who can see is thought to be a witch.  Then, in the mountain village where Jason Momoa is the boss man, his wife gives birth to twins with the power of sight.  Enter the witchfinder, who I thought was called Tomato John, but is actually Tamacti Jun (well, I wasn't far out...).

I started off by thinking, hang on a minute, if they're all blind, why would they bother about stuff like ornamental headgear, but I think that in order to enjoy this you have to suspend such disbelief, and just accept.  Must have been a nightmare to direct:  "Oi, Jason, you can't do that, you're supposed to be blind."  "Oh, yeah, shit; sorry, I forgot."  It's great, anyway - filled with suspense and drama, fabulous scenery, thrilling fight scenes, etc.  Pleased to see that filming has started for Season 2.


Series: Rubicon - one season (AMC Premiere, Amazon Prime)

5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Made in 2010, about an intelligence analyst working for the American Policy Institute (API) in New York City. He discovers that he may be working with members of a secret society that manipulates world events on a grand scale.  Absorbing, great acting, and I like that it wasn't gimmicky - it's just good drama.

TWD alert!  Co-stars Dallas Roberts, alias Milton Memet.



Documentary: The Public Image is Rotten (Youtube, Vimeo)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love PiL, and think John Lydon is a top bloke.  Documentary charting the ever-changing band from its inception to the present day, with many interviews with Lydon and band members past and present. 


 

Documentary: Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council (Sky)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wasn't a particular fan of The Style Council, but I love music documentaries, and this gave great insight into Paul Weller's vision for the band.  I enjoyed the interviews with him and Mick Talbot, both of whom came across as down-to-earth, unpretentious, realistic about their failures and successes, and just nice guys. A lot of old film from the 80s and 90s.  Tick VG.


 

Series: Devils - Season 1 (Hulu, Amazon, The CW)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wasn't too sure about this at first, as the dialogue seemed a bit stilted, and tired (so much so that you could guess what they were going to say next), but around episode three it picked up and got better and better until I was totally engrossed.  

It's set in the cut-throat London banking world, main character being an Italian whizz-kid, Massimo Ruggero, played by the rather gorgeous Alessandro Borghi, who begins to question how the way in which he makes money for the New York Investment Bank affects other people.  It starts off with his rival at work hurtling off a balcony to his death—and nobody is above suspicion.

Special mention for my cousin, actor Tim Daish, who plays a dodgy London copper in episode 6!



 

Documentary series: By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem.  (Amazon Prime, Epix)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved the TV series The Godfather of Harlem, starring Forrest Whittaker, and this documentary series brings to life the music and culture of Harlem in the 1960s. Lots of film showing the history of the area, and enchanting memories of a time gone by that shows the great community spirit and vibrancy of the period - and, later on, as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King aimed to change the fortunes of black people in America. 


 

Film: Beats (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Set in Scotland in 1994, this film is about the tail end of the rave culture, and centres round two boys trying to escape their dreary lives and just have a blast.  Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) lives by his wits, sharing a house his psycho criminal brother, while Johnno (Cristian Ortega) lives with his mother and sister, and his mother's new boyfriend, who is determined to get them out of the shabby council estate towards a better life.

It's good - funny, touching, shocking (that was the police bludgeoning ravers whose only crime was wanting to party), but also a bit depressing.  Definitely worth watching, though.


 

Series: Ratched - Season 1 (Netflix) 

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the character of Mildred Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, perfectly played by Sarah Paulson, and the years before she became part of that story.  It's one of those almost fantasy-like portrayals of the 1950s, like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel; bright colours, amazing clothes, larger than life characters and scenes.  Recommended :)


 

Five Part Documentary Series: Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer (Amazon Prime)

4.5* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Most compelling, this - it's based on a book written by Elizabeth Kendall, Bundy's long-term girlfriend at the time of his killing spree, with much commentary from her and her daughter, Molly, who was about 8 when her mother got together with him. I found Molly charming and likeable, sensitive and honest, but couldn't warm to the mother - I got the feeling, as Molly said, that if she hadn't been around to stop her, Elizabeth might have allowed him to wrap her back around his little finger at any time, even in the face of all the evidence against him.  She seemed rather pathetic, and as if she never stopped being dazzled by him.

The documentary also features many interviews with police who worked on the case, and friends and family of the victims. Questions also arise about the way in which the case was handled at the time, and how certain law enforcers used it to enhance their own careers.  


 

Six Part Documentary Series: Slow Burn (Amazon Prime, Epix)

4* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Originally a podcast, this is the full and very detailed story of the Watergate scandal, and all who were involved with it. No stone is left unturned; it would probably appeal most to those who already have some interest in the case, or know something about it.  The first episode is the most interesting, about Martha Mitchell, the southern belle and socialite wife of John Mitchell, a major figure in Nixon's administration.

I was struck by how long ago the seventies seem, now.  A bit like how I saw the 1940s when I was a kid.



Series: The Undoing (Sky Atlantic, HBO Max, Amazon)

4* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Stars Hugh Grant as Hugh Grant, an oncology consultant, and Nicole Kidman as his therapist wife, an icy-cold princess with a face so lifted and filled that it doesn't move, and a wardrobe full of fabulous coats.  Actually Jonathan and Grace Fraser, who live a swanky Manhattan life, along with their son, Henry, who is rather sweet, and nothing like his ghastly parents.  Life seems fairly awesome until a young woman called Eleanor joins a committee at Henry's private school, which involves Grace and her swanky friends sitting around chatting about fund-raising.  Eleanor gets her tits (and more) out at every possible opportunity, then turns up dead.  But who killed her, and why?

I've watched five episodes and the killer has yet to be revealed, but I made a good guess during episode 2, and I'm sticking to it, even though it's a long shot. It's good.  Looking forward to the next ep.  Also stars Donald Sutherland as Nicole Kidman's all-seeing, philandering father.

NB: Dec 1.  Watched the last episode last night.  Most disappointed by the lack of twist, apart from The Woman With The Immovable Face doing her unreliable witness bit, and leaking all the stuff his mum said, to her mate.   I thought it was going to be the blonde mate wot dun it; I had the whole plot worked out.... πŸ˜”

A word about the plastic surgery.  Nicole Kidman is only 7 years younger than Hugh Grant.  She was an extremely pretty young woman.  Had she not been so desperate to still look like one, she would be an extremely attractive middle-aged woman, instead of a startled puppet.  How I hate this pressure on women to keep looking youthful, yes.... but it's it more about how we need to learn to accept ourselves?



Series: Riviera (Sky Atlantic, NowTV)

3* ⭐⭐⭐

Currently watching.  Glitzy, totally unrealistic and not very well-written glam-soap-opera type series starring Julia Stiles as Grace Clios, an art curator married to a wealthy bloke called Constantin who gets blown up on a yacht in the first ten minutes.  Enter dysfunctional first family - Lena Olin as the bitchy first wife who looks fabulous in all her fabulous clothes (unlike Julia Stiles, whose stylist should have sorted out her bad hair dye, and at least 50% of her wardrobe), drama queen daughter and two sons with serious emotional problems.  Got a bit bored in the first season, though the second one ups its game a bit, and Stiles gets a better hairdo.  Great scenery, fab cars, and at least Juliet Stevenson is in S2. Murders and double dealing and affairs and stuff.

The longer it goes on, the more I notice that no devastating event is so traumatic that the character concerned cannot find the time to go upstairs for a quick wardrobe change, complete with matching shoes and hair accessories.  All the women sit around at home looking as if they're just off to a garden party with Jackie and Ari Onasis.

Now to Season 3.  4 eps in.  It's moved away from the Clios family, to the extent that when Grace and her new cohort Rupert Graves meet up with two people closely associated with them (Daphne and Nico - Nico was married to one of them and about to live happily ever after at the end of S2), they are never mentioned. Also, Daphne has had a complete personality change to fit the new plot, and poor old mum (Juliet Stevenson) is never mentioned again, either.  Julia Stiles has gone less blonde, which makes her look more pissed off than ever, and is still wearing the inevitable 4 inch heels and silky dress/trouser ensemble even when she has to climb over rocks or walk several miles.

Just taken a half star off my original assessment due to characters' curious personality changes.



And here is Julia Stiles' fab drunk table dance in 10 Things I Hate about You, with the late, great Heath Ledger (loved that film!).



Four-part miniseries: The Sister (ITV Hub)

2* ⭐⭐

Basically a good story, but the dialogue was cringe-makingly bad, and the acting not much better.  Russell Tovey stars as a guy who thinks he's killed the sister of a girl he ends up marrying, though quite frankly I'm surprised anyone could stand being in the same room as his character for more than ten minutes.  Watched until the end because I was interested enough to want to know what happened, but I'd recommend giving this a hasty swerve.  The comments on the Youtube trailer reflect this.




Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Lately I've Been Watching

 

The latest in my series of mini TV reviews, with trailers and 'where to watch'.  If you have trouble finding where any show/film is available, try typing 'where can I watch *name of show*' into Google.

If you would like to see more posts, please click here: Lately I've Been Watching.  If you get as far as the bottom, 'Older Posts' will take you to more.


Series: War of the Worlds - Season 1 (Amazon Prime)

5 stars plus ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gabriel Byrne, Lea Drucker and Elizabeth McGovern star in this terrific updated version - love love and loved it, stayed up until 2.15 a.m. watching the first 4 episodes because I couldn't stop!  Highly, highly recommended.  The robot dogs are not quite as terrifying as those in Black Mirror's Metalhead, but they come close.  Something about that noise they make...

There's a good mix of characters, some likeable (Helen, Bill, Ash, Sophia, Kariem, Colonel Mustafa), some irritating (Sarah, Sacha and Chloe).  Two of the characters have a link to the aliens who have invaded, but we are yet to discover why or what ... and why are they stealing the babies?  Season 2 can't come soon enough. :)

 

Series: Raised by Wolves - Season 1 (Amazon Prime, HBO Max)

5 stars plus ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Directed by Ridley Scott.  A long time in the future, the world has come to an end as the theists are at war with the atheists.  Some of the latter send two androids to another planet with 12 incubating foetuses, to restart the human race.  When all but one die, the 'mother' (a special type of ΓΌber-dangerous android called a necromancer) kills the occupants of the crashed 'ark' - a spaceship filled with believers - except for the children, who she takes to fill her dead children's place.   Enter Ragnar Lothbrok Travis Fimmel, an atheist pretending to be a believer, to get back the son who isn't really his.  Honestly, it's not as confusing as I made that sound.  Just remember that Marcus, the character played by Ragnar Lothbrok (sorry, Travis Fimmel; the character is exactly the same as the one in Vikings, increasingly so as it goes on) is not really him but a man called Caleb who has had plastic surgery to assume Marcus's face.

Ah—I may have failed to express how much I loved this.  It's terrific, it really is, Fimmel is great, as are the mother and father androids.  Am totally rooting for the androids, btw. πŸ˜‰


 

Series: The Capture - Season 1 (BBC)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Excellent and gripping story about a former solider who was cleared of a war crime, then set up as guilty of murder, and the detective who works out what is really going on, and how dangerous the conspiracy is.  Highly recommended.


Documentary: What Killed Michael Brown? (Amazon)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A documentary by Shelby Steele, which examines the shooting by a police officer of Black teenager Michael Brown, and goes on to look at the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, compared with BLM, and discusses why racial divide in America is as much a problem as ever.

Here is a lengthy review on Film Threat


Documentary: The Plot Against The President (Amazon)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Whatever your political leanings, you should watch this—but be warned.  You will never believe anything you hear on the news or read in the press, ever again.  Not for anyone of a nervous disposition; it saddened me greatly, that we live in the sort of world where this sort of thing is allowed to happen.  Please note, this is not a documentary solely for the pro-Trump; it's an eye-opener, generally, and will make every fictional government conspiracy thriller you've ever watched or read seem like child's play.


Series: Fear The Walking Dead - Season 6, episodes 1 & 2 (AMC Premiere, Amazon)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Three episodes in, and I think that, so far, this is the best season yet.  So good to see Morgan sort himself out, and Dwight get back to the guy Daryl first met in Always Accountable, but the highlight so far has to be Dwight and Sherry's reunion - worth the wait, and will go down as one of the great TWD reunions!

I'm assuming that Al is going to turn out to be the sister of either Aaron or Eric - that vehicle plate thing.  I'm going for Aaron :)


 

Documentary: The Seven Five (Amazon)

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About Michael Dowd, known as the most corrupt New York cop ever.  Fascinating and well put-together, with much footage from the 1980s and early 1990s, interviews with Dowd himself, and the people who worked with him.  And I'm not just talking the other cops.


 

Series: The Boys - Seasons 1 & 2 (Amazon)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Watched all of S1 again before S2, as I couldn't remember what happened.  Liked it just as much as the first time round!  Great comic-inspired show about an America in which the public's icons are the superheroes that keep them safe - but were they given their superpowers by God, or did they derive from something more down to earth?  And are they really as godlike and good as their public image represents?

The Boys of the title refers to a group of vigilantes who each have their own individual beefs with various members of 'The Seven' - these are chosen ones, the group to which superheroes all over the country aspire to belong.  Main character Hughie is played by Dennis Quaid's son, who falls in love with one of The Seven - Starlight.

It's great fun, and Anthony Starr (Banshee) is brilliant as Homelander, the king of The Seven.  Also stars Giancarlo Esposito, playing Gus Fring from Breaking Bad. πŸ˜‰  TWD lovers will spot Colby Minifie (Virginia in FearTWD) as the ghastly assistant to the superheroes.

 
 

Series: Keeping Faith - Seasons 1 & 2 (Amazon)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Faith Howells is a lawyer living in a small town in south Wales, with her three children and husband Evan, with whom she has a legal practice.  At the start, she is on maternity leave with her baby son, when she gets a call from the office to say that Evan has not turned up for work.  Faith can't get hold of him, all day, and neither does he return home that evening.  He has disappeared off the face of the earth. 

As Faith uncovers some shady stuff in which Evan was mixed up, her whole life is turned upside town.  Features a disapproving mother-in-law, the customary kooky divorced friend who goes on endless dates, lots of nasty gangster-type baddies, murders, and a possible new love interest.

It's jolly good, and my interest was held all the way through both seasons.  Eve Myles is great as Faith; you'll like her.  My only complaint was that the last episode seemed a bit rushed, with all ends tied up a bit too neatly and quickly, and a lack of drama that the ending needed; a great ending with another twist in the tale would have made all the difference.  It was a bit lacklustre, and I was slightly disappointed by the outcome for Faith herself, too.  Definitely worth watching, though!


Series: Sanctuary - Season 1 (Amazon)

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Set in the Dolomites, Helena visits her estranged sister in a sanitorium, and is almost immediately immersed in a terrifying case of mistaken identity.  Most entertaining, though I did find that it stretched feasibility a bit too much.  Good plot, though, and left on a rather compelling cliff-hanger, so I look forward to S2.

A special mention for my cousin, actor Tim Daish, who could be spotted in the cast list as 'Landrover driver'!


Miniseries: The Third Day.  (Amazon, Sky Atlantic, HBO)

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jude Law stars as Sam, whose yearly pilgrimage to the place where the body of his murdered son was found leads him to the tidal island of Osea, from which he at first seems to be prevented from leaving.  Then, he chooses not to.

That's the first three episodes.  The second three tell the story of a woman and her two daughters, who arrive at Osea thinking, mistakenly, that they have booked an Air BnB cottage for a couple of days.  They, too, are to find leaving the island difficult, and the eldest daughter, Ellie, begins to expect that her mother has another reason for bringing them there.

The visitors might be forgiven for thinking they had walked onto the set of Straw Dogs, such is the animosity towards them from most of the residents.  

It's good, and I enjoyed it all, but certain plot threads were left dangling, almost as if the writers weren't quite sure what to do with them, and I found the end disappointing and inconclusive.  It's definitely worth watching, though.  Also stars Paddy Considine, Emily Watson, Peter Kay and Naomie Harris. 


 

Film: Unhinged (Google Play, Amazon, Apple TV)

3.5* ⭐⭐⭐

Russell Crowe is revoltingly sinister as a man whose life was destroyed when he got divorced, and stalks a woman with whom he becomes involved in a minor incident of road rage.  Arson, murder, setting people alight, running them over, stabbing them in the neck with forks, you name it.  It's an entertaining one and a half hours for the not-too-discerning viewer; starts off great but gets more and more unfeasible, not least of all the little quip made at the end which I predicted just before the woman (Caren Pistorius) made it.  A few less ridiculous moments, and it could have been a hell of a lot better.

 

Documentary series: Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty (Amazon)

3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

About the Plantagenets - examines the reigns of Henry II, Edward II and a couple of others.  Presented by Dan Jones, who does so as if the average age of his viewers is 10 years old.  It's good, and I liked the re-enactments, but it's a general overview for people who don't know anything about the period.  Would have been great if presented by someone like Simon Schama or Neil Oliver, instead.  I did quite like it, though.




Sunday, 25 October 2020

October 25th ~ Autumn Colours #SilentSunday

 

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Rosie's Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC

Introducing Rosie's Review-A-Book Challenge #RRABC
 


 
Did you know that 99% of the reading public never post a review for a book?

At Rosie Amber's Book Review Team (six years and going strong!), we often look at ways to encourage more people to review.  This autumn, Rosie has planned a Review-A-Book Challenge, with a great list of books to choose from, all free of charge to anyone serious about writing a review for her blog - and possibly joining the review team, if you enjoy the process.
 
(In June this year, I wrote about why I love being a member of the team - it's HERE if you would like to take a look)

Each day for a week or so, she will feature articles on how to write simple reviews, on choosing a star rating, and many more.  The challenge is open to all, from experienced reviewers and book bloggers, to those who have never written a review.  If this has piqued your interest and you would like to take a look at the books on offer, please click here to read the full post and view the book list.

 



 


 

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Review: #TWD S10 ep 16 A CERTAIN DOOM #TheWalkingDead #TWDSeasonFinale


Previously: Review:  S10x15 The Tower

 


- S10 x 16   A Certain Doom -

Directed by Greg Nicotero

Written by Jim BarnesEli JornΓ© and Corey Reed

 A huge thank you to Greg Nicotero, the writers and all concerned - absolutely gripping, lots of those TWD twists and surprises that no amount of 'spoilers' and predictions ever get right (thank goodness!), and not just one but two moments when I cried real tears - namely when Maggie appeared to save Gabriel, and when she reunited with Judith, the child she delivered on the floor of the prison, all those years ago.  Welcome back, Maggie— so good to see her looking like the happy woman Glenn loved, once more.


I imagine Mystery Mask Person will be a new character—we now know it's not Connie, anyway.  That was a jaw-drop surprise, wasn't it? 😲  An interesting development; at least Virgil seemed to have recovered some of his sanity before Michonne left him—and he was carrying the trusty orange back pack.

 

Back to Gabriel and co in the tower—who'd have thought the cowering craven of Season 5 would become an authoritative, brave leader?  So, so glad he didn't cop it, as many (including me) thought he might, especially after he stayed back, willing to sacrifice himself to save the others. It's okay, Gabe, no need to do any more penance.  Rick would have been proud of how he has progressed, and we couldn't have Rosita losing any more of her men!


The death walk through the grounds of Grady Memorial (πŸ˜‰) made those similar forays in 102 Guts and 609 No Way Out seem like a pleasant walk down a country lane, and the danger of not knowing which ones were original recipe Walker and which might have a knife at the ready was so real.  Kelly's almost silent eye view was terrifying enough, but the part that really brought it home to me was Magna's face when she was surrounded by them—you could feel her fear, she was frozen with it, until Jerry put his hand on her shoulder.

 

If not doom in the end, there was a certain redemption going on in this fabulous finale, where Carol, Lydia and Negan were concerned.  I felt so sorry for Carol when she got a dirty look from Bertie and a scathing remark from Diane—oh, and her face when she knew she couldn't save poor Beatrice, whose last, brave words implored Carol to take her pack.  You can understand why, but I suspect Hilltop might have burned anyway, whether Negan was freed or not.

 

Was she really going to jump, after she guided the Walkers to the cliff's edge and Lydia pulled her back?  I don't think so; I thought she was just contemplating it for a moment.  I wondered if, more than that, she was looking down and thinking of all she had lost, all the tragedies over the years.  When I saw them falling off the cliff, though, I felt sad too, for them; they were people, once.  

 

Lydia was the main hero of the hour, starting with her pointing out to Diane which Walkers needed an arrow in the chest, and of course she could walk amongst the dead with less fear than anyone else, in order to retrieve the backpack.  Ironic that it was the wearing of Alpha's mask that saved everyone, ultimately; there was something so poignant about Lydia assuming the stance of her mother as she led the Guardians towards the cliff.

 

Also, during the horse-drawn disco version of what Daryl, Sasha and Abraham did in 601 First Time Again, she was able to detect that the Whisperers had mingled in with the herd, before the others saw them; if she had stayed behind, as Daryl instructed, there may have been many more deaths.  If anyone had any doubts about Lydia earning her place, surely they must be dispelled now.

Nice little bit of Talking Heads there—I admit to chair dancing!

Lydia's scenes with Carol were so emotive; she said she wasn't looking for another mother, but I think she might be the person to help Carol break out of her endless quest to fill the void left by Sophia's death, that can never be filled.  With friendship, this time, though—because they have so much loss in common.  Maybe she will help Carol accept what happened, rather than going round and round in ever-intensifying circles of pain, with the loss of another child coming back to devastate her more acutely each time, and, of course, Henry was more than just a Sophia replacement.  Her life with him, Ezekiel and the Kingdom gave her what she had always wanted, but it all revolved around Henry.


And so to Negan, who Daryl thought was too chicken, or whatever, to go out and face the 'Fee-Fi-Fo asshole'.

'You wanna be a part of this?  You gotta put your ass on the line, just like everybody else.' 


But putting his ass on the line was indeed his plan, as he disappeared down the lift shaft, finally providing the answer to the question we've all been asking: who would kill Beta?  Negan to start it, Daryl to strike the final blow; it had to be.  And what a kill.  The demented Jolly Green Giant's final moments, when he saw his own death as glorious, with the sepia flashbacks not of his old life but of the one he shared with Alpha, were masterfully put together.  

One gets the impression that Negan owned a few Half Moon records in his time... 'You know who that asshole was?'


I noticed Daryl gave Negan an almost friendly punch/slap in the gut, just before they moved off, as if to say, 'Well done, come on'.  We will see where we go from here...

...as we will with what happens after the moment so many were waiting for: Daryl and Carol making up.  The way she said 'You good?' told us everything she struggled with, inside; the wall she has built up to stop herself crumbling, the fear she had that she had lost him.  Then, when he looked at her, you could see so much emotion in his eyes—years and years of love, pain, loss, all they have shared and endured together since the very start, when he gave her the axe to cave Ed's head in, in that camp in Atlanta.



'You still got me'.  That's a lot, coming from Daryl.  Who thinks spin-off may be set in New Mexico?! 😁  Looks like it's on the cards, or Daryl wouldn't have mentioned it.  Once Judith and RJ are safely settled with Aunt Maggie, in the Commonwealth, perhaps!


Meanwhile, back with our intrepid cyclists—the meeting with Stephanie was never going to go that smoothly, but at least the more humble but still lion-hearted and theatrical Ezekiel has retained his ability to give rousing speeches.  'This journey, your journey, must be completed'.  His acceptance of his illness is so touching, and it's also good to see how the apocalypse has made Eugene into someone he never knew he could be.

 

Enter the strange people in white armour.... well, we couldn't have a totally happy ending, could we?!  I am sure that all our friends have a long way to go and many dangers to traverse before they find safety and a place that will be to them what the Hilltop, Alexandria and the Kingdom were; I assume that Hilltop is gone, now, and can't see how everyone will fit into Alexandria, if there is even much of it left after Beta took the herd through.

 

What do you think might happen next?  A few thoughts/ideas:

  • The next episode will be a direct continuation of 10x16, because Maggie and Negan are both in that clearing in the woods, and we have yet to see what will happen when they come face to face!
  • Maggie will tell them about the Commonwealth, and the 24 episodes of Season 11 will be cover the journey there and all dangers on the way, maybe?
  • Luke will be treated for an eating disorder (or at least be told by someone that he shouldn't lose any more weight).
  • Lots of weird and bad stuff will happen to Connie before she finds her way back to the others.
  • Gradually, gradually, Negan will be accepted.  Unless Maggie kills him...
  • Lydia will be totally accepted by everyone.  Except Oceanside, maybe, because of Beatrice.
  • Carol and Daryl will carry on dancing around each other until New Mexico.
  • The white armour people may not be another enemy, but just cautious; maybe something to do with Stephanie, after all? 


 Until 2021, then....


~ RIP Beatrice ~






 

 

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Lately I've Been Watching...

The latest in my series of mini TV reviews, with trailers and 'where to watch'.  

If you would like to see more posts, please click here: Lately I've Been Watching.  If you get as far as the bottom, 'Older Posts' will take you to more.


The Walking Dead Season 10 finale: Full Review


 

Series: Yellowstone - Season 3 (Amazon Prime)

5 stars plus ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This Dallas-set-in-Montana family saga gets better and better, as the Dutton family, headed by Kevin Costner, faces more threats to their land and lifestyle, and the chips-on-their-shoulders siblings wrangle with each other and their father.  Best character: Kelly Reilly as daughter Beth, a woman with whom you do not mess.  Worst character: Monica, the wife of the youngest son, Kayce, who is so boring I had to look up her name as I couldn't remember it, and does nothing but whine, despite living in a stunning mansion set in an even more stunning landscape, having a gorgeous husband who loves her, a lovely son, plenty of emotional and financial support, great beauty, etc., etc.  

New this season - the rather lush Josh Holloway as a corporate baddie.  Not as lush as when he was Sawyer in Lost, but a worthy addition to the cast.  Left on a cliffhanger as middle son Jamie gives rein to his evil side...  

Highly recommended, but start at the beginning!


 

Cartoon/Satire: South Park: A Pandemic Special (HBO Max, Comedy Central)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

47 minutes long, and up to the usual standard, as Cartman rejoices in lockdown, the mask wearers gang up against the unmasked, all hospital admissions are registered as Covid cases even when they're not, and Patient Zero is revealed.  Revolves around Randy making his 'Pandemic Special' weed variety.  Liked how they've picked up on little subtleties like everything being 'unprecedented', 'normal' as a noun, and the instruction to 'breathe, just breathe' when someone is panicking.  Brilliant.


 

Series: Hanna - Season 2 (Amazon Prime, Netflix)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved the first season of this - a top secret scientific lab in which unwanted children are used for an experiment to genetically engineer a superhuman killing machine, controlled by those who are running the show.  Headed by an ice queen played by Mireille Anos.  Joel Kinnaman stars as an operatives who rescues one of the girls - Hanna.  They then live in hiding, in the woods of Romania, for 16 years.  Trouble starts when Hanna wants to know more about the outside world. 

Highly recommended, kept my interest all the way through Seasons 1 & 2.



Documentary Series: Helter Skelter: An American Myth (YouTube TV)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Six part documentary series about Charles Manson, his insane cult, and the notorious murders.  Features much original footage, and detailed interviews with some of the girls who lived on the ranch.  There is much about the era, generally, and why it was possible for Manson to gain such power over his followers.  Totally absorbing.


 

Series: Rogue - Seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Amazon Prime, Netflix)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Starts off as a show starring Thandie Newton as Grace Travis, a rogue under-cover cop, set in San Francisco.  First season has her up against gangsters so she can find out who killed her son.  In S2 she meets up with some dodgy ex-military guys, headed by Ethan Kelly, played by Cole Hauser (Yellowstone).  A little way into S3, Grace's role mysteriously peters out; it's rather odd.  I read that it was because there was some big row over her refusing to do full-frontal nudity (good on her), and they had to write her out quickly.  

Ethan Kelly becomes the main character as it moves to Chicago, and I think I actually liked him better in the main role.  It was cancelled after S4, which was only 10 episodes but the best one, I think, though they're all very good, and left me wishing there was more! 



Documentary: Gimme Shelter (Youtube)

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Documentary about the ill-fated Altamont festival in 1969, known as the tragedy that ended the spirit of the 1960s.  Thrown together in a rush, the concert had no facilities (no toilets, no food and drink venues), and there was a lot of speed-laced LSD going around.  The stage was small and low down, and security was provided by Hell's Angels; deaths occurred.  Fascinating, and horrible.


Documentary: The Social Dilemma (Netflix)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Interviews with people who have worked in influential positions at Google, Facebook, etc, about how social media is used to manipulate our thoughts, opinions, buying habits, etc.  Cleverly, it is illustrated by showing one boy's internet activity, via his phone, and shows the AI as three men, behind the scenes, making sure he behaves as they wish him to.

If you don't know much about this sort of thing, you'll be shocked.  Even if you do, and are prepared for it, it will leave a nasty taste in your mouth.  Everyone should watch it.


 

True Life Crime Drama: Honour (ITV Hub)

and documentary - Exposure: Banaz - An Honour Killing

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Two part drama about Kurdish South Londoner Banaz Mahmod, who was murdered by her father, uncle and three other relatives for falling in love with a man of whom the family didn't approve, after divorcing their chosen husband because he beat her up and raped her, repeatedly.  Horrifying.  Most shocking of all, perhaps, is that she went to the police for help no less than five times, and nothing was done.




Series: Chosen - Seasons 1, 2 and 3 (Crackle)

4.5 stars

Loved this - it's a storyline I've seen in a film, and also a version of it in a Black Mirror episode.  One morning, a man receives a box.  Inside, is the photo and name of a man he must kill.  He has 3 days in which to do this.  If he does not do it within the first couple of days, someone he loves is taken prisoner.  If he still fails to do it, that person will be killed.  

'The Game' is run by some people called The Watchers, and Chosen follows the fortunes of lawyer, father and husband Ian Mitchell, a bartender - Jacob Orr - who cares for his younger brother, and a mother of two, Chloe, who has been in 'the game' for a long time and has learned to live with it - because there is no getting out.

Enjoyed this very much.  Not sure if it is available anywhere apart from Crackle; if you want to know, just type 'where can I watch Chosen' into a search engine.  Not to be confused with 'The' Chosen.  It's one of those plots that made me wish I'd thought of it.


Limited Series: TWD The World Beyond (Amazon, AMC Premiere)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Episode 1 of Season 1 only!  The lastest Walking Dead spin-off, which will tie in with all the rest of it and the forthcoming Rick Grimes films, at the end of the two seasons.

I liked the beginning, which gives the impression, initially, that it is set in the pre-zombie world, but it is actually 10 years into the new world, in a nearly 10K people-strong colony in Nebraska, part of the Alliance - of which the Civil Republic (location unknown) is included. The antagonists are the CRM, or the Civil Republic Military, which is where we assume Rick Grimes now resides.  The two main characters, sisters Hope and Iris, suspect that their father, a scientist who has gone to work for the Civil Republic, is in danger.  With others, they set off on that great post-apocalyptic favourite, the 1000km journey on foot, within zombie-infested country (except they call them 'empties' not 'walkers').

There are a few rather cheesy bits of dialogue, but on the whole it's up to standard.

Julia Ormond plays the leader of the CRM, and very sinister she is, too.  Weird to see her as a stocky middle-aged woman; I remember her as the lover of Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall.  As for the sisters, I found one irritating (Iris), though I think she may grown on me, and the other I liked (Hope).  They are closely followed out into the world outside the colony by the older Huck, played by Annet Mahendru (The Americans), and their guardian, Felix.  It's good; I look forward to seeing the next episode.  Especially as this one ended on a ver-eee worrying cliffhanger...

(ps, TWD lovers: hands up who immediately thought of Rick and Dave, in that bar near Hershel's farm long ago, and that tense conversation about Nebraska being a good place to go because it's sparsely populated? I wonder if the travellers will get a shock when they get further south! 208 Nebraska )


 

True Crime Drama: Des (ITV)

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Three part dramatisation of the capture and uncovering of the crimes of Denis Nilsen who murdered between twelve and sixteen young men in the late 70s and early 80s.  David Tenant is excellent as Nilsen, the only problem being that he makes him almost likeable!


 

Film: The Hunt (Amazon Prime)

3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

Daft but enjoyable film about a group of people who are abducted, apparently randomly, to be the prey in a human hunt.  Worth watching if you have nothing much on, and fancy some mindless entertainment.