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 über-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. 😉
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. 😉 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)
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.