• Monthly Movies,  Movies,  TV

    Monthly Movies/TV – Autumn 2018

    It’s been awhile since I did these kind of posts. I haven’t really been watching as many movies or tv shows as I use to, but I’d like to mark it here on a seasonal basis.

    September

    “Bodyguard” Series 1 (BBC) – This is BBC’s most watched drama in years. I enjoyed it a lot. I like Richard Madden and I’m glad he gets to stretch some range with this role. My partner is a big fan of Jed Mercurio’s “Line of Duty” as well and I will start that soon.

    To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (21 09 18) – Reviewed here.

    October

    Ocean’s 8 (22 10 18) – I had moderate expectations going into this because I knew it was not the most critically acclaimed. I really enjoyed it because it looked good and the cast is extraordinary. It’s not as stylish as Soderbergh’s films but I like Gary Ross’s work. There is not much in the way of character development, but this is a fun movie. I actually hope there is a sequel.

    “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Season 1 (Oct 2018) – A tad long side. Found the mortal/Sabrina friends storylines were dull but witch ones are fun. Good cast and styling.

    November

    Ethel & Ernest (03 11 2018) – Very lovely animated film about an English family in the early twentieth century

    December

    L Storm (12 12 2018) – I’ve developed a tradition of watching Chinese or Hong Kong movies on airplanes. Decent plotting and suspense, but not much in the way of character development.

    Gravity (25 12 2018) – Really like Curaon as a director so been meaning to watch it. Quite nice and definitely a theatre movie but we only watched on our small screen. We watched Charade earlier the same day (one of my fav movies growing up) and it was jarring to see Clooney as a second rate Cary Grant.

  • TV

    Monthly TV – April/May 2016

    The Night Manager (20-23 04 16) – You watch this mini series for two reasons: the scenery/cinematography and the actors. Hiddleston, Laurie, and Coleman are the stars. I think Coleman is the best actor, but Hiddleston and Laurie are excellent. Hiddles is just pretty. The story and writing have issues. It’s not something to write home about, but this is a pretty, pretty series.

    Daredevil Season 2 (last week of May) – I think the first season of Daredevil was so excellent and so good in terms of being distinct. I loved the actions in S1 more. I find S2 hit or miss for me. The law drama aspect did not work. I liked the Punisher. I didn’t really care for the Hand stuff. I really liked Elecktra and Matt’s chemistry. I did feel that Matt got very annoying most of S2 as he kept lieing to everyone and himself. I look forward to Elecktra’s return, but I’m not sure Matt’s character development is moving at a good pace.

    Jessica Jones (last week of May into first couple of days of June) – As a followup to Daredevil, I finally watched the first season of this show. It was good. I do adore David Tennant and he was chilling in this. I really liked the writing, but I did feel that the search for Kilgrave could have been cut short by one or two episodes. Still, a very strong start.

  • TV

    Monthly TV – March 2016

    House of Cards (March 25?-29, 2016) – A good season of the show. I enjoyed it. Maybe a bit more than the last. I love how the characters are fascinating, vulnerable, and vile at the same time. Claire’s mother was a great addition to it.

    Cooked (March 29-April 3, 2016) – A Netflix documentary series based on Michael Pollan’s book Cooked. I have been more into food than ever lately if you’ve noticed so this was right up my valley especially the episodes about bread and fermentation. It was not the best documentary series I’ve seen about food, but it is a great companion to the book in many ways. I think most people interested in food would like it and definitely for those of us who have read the Pollan book.

  • TV

    Monthly TV – February 2016

    Mr. Robot (Feb 3-5, 2016) – I had heard a lot about this show when it was airing last summer, and I kept seeing Rami Malek photos. He is photogenic and has a certain quality about him. There is something mesmerizing about him. He’s amazing in this and deserved all the praise. I really hope he gets more high profile roles. The soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard from a TV show. Let’s get with the Positives: Rami’s acting; the music; the female characters and their interactions with one another; interesting shooting style; a couple of twists; Tyrell and Joanna for the most part and general creepiness. Christian Slater is decent, not fantastic. Writing is fine. Not-So-Good: Angela’s storyline; drug dealer storyline; how Tyrell and Joanna’a storyline ended, and the finale was a bit anticlimactic. It was a good show and very addictive. I adore Rami, but I don’t necessarily feel this should be watched by everyone. Watching the show makes you very paranoid though. It is very creepy.

    The Good Wife (Feb 9-19 , 2016) – See here.

    The Duchess of Duke Street (Feb 18-27, 2016) – A 1970s period piece show I knew almost nothing about before I started it. This is an enjoyable show. The protagonist Louisa Trotter (née Leyton) can be an abrasive and blunt character, but somehow Gemma Jones gives her enough pathos, charisma, and vulnerability to make you root for her every time. I admired the character actually. I think the show was best when it was focused on Louisa’s life especially the romance and relationship with Charlie. I loved how the show was able to convey their relationship over years and the impact they had on one another. There was that one strange episode which was basically Jane Eyre, but otherwise, I adored this show. I wish I had someone to share it with.

  • TV

    Bimonthly TV – August and September 2015

    Select TV shows, more specifically marathon TV shows, that I watched in August and September. I am going to try to limit myself to one to two (if I have holidays) TV series a month from now on unless I am sick or on holiday.

    Episodes (August 2015) – As someone who isn’t a completeionist and find it difficult just to make time for all my consumption and hobbies, I dropped this after watching two seasons. Yes, it had funny moments and I did enjoy the acting. However, I grew a bit wary of the industry jokes and watching Leblanc’s character make an arse of himself. I’ve heard the later seasons get even better so maybe I will revisit. In the mean time, I do think it’s an enjoyable and underrated comedy.

    Breaking Bad (August – 20 September 2015) – This show grew on me. I know a lot of people loved it, but I was not particularly engaged with it the first couple of seasons. In fact, I felt like I was watching more because of its place in pop and TV culture rather than because I liked it. It isn’t to say that I disliked it in the beginning, but I didn’t love any of the characters. I think I started to like the show with S3 and S4. The latter is my favourite season because I liked the Gus and Mike characters. At this time, I had grown to appreciate the Jesse Pinkman character and Aaron Paul’s acting. I really liked the characterization and acting in the series. Even the sparse, southwest landscape and direction grew on me. I even managed to feel pity for Walt in the last two episodes! From the beginning, I found him weak and immoral. I never rooted for him until the last episode. I didn’t enjoy the villains or the bleakness of S5, but I did really like the ending. I do not necessarily think it’s the best show ever or even for everybody, but I am glad that I watched it.

    Ongoing Shows this month:

    • Great British Bake Off
    • Great British Menu
    • Switched at Birth – I’m back at it, though I still think the show still has many issues
    • The Flash – A couple of reruns so that I am caught up for S02. New show for me.
    • The Muppets – It’s not perfect, but I’m enjoying it a little bit. It’s got major nostalgic factors for me.
  • Monthly Movies,  TV

    Monthly TV January 2012

    This lists any series or seasonal shows I have watched in marathons during the month, but also whenever I want to write about shows I am watching. Smaller mini series will tend to go in Monthly movies.

    Switched at BirthSwitched at Birth – Watched episodes S1x01 to S1x11 in a few days and the new episodes since. I haven’t watched any ABC Family shows since the 90s I think. I was quite surprised how much I liked this, but I really hand’t heard anything about it until the new half of the season started. I found it addictive. Yes, it has some cheesiness, but it also has some decent storytelling. I like all the characters and I think the teens on this show are better than on most other other teen/family shows. Definitely one of my regular shows now.

    HomelandHomeland – The complete first season. All the critics are saying that this is one of the best new shows of Fall 2011 and I’m inclined to agree. The acting in this is stellar. I have been indifferent to Claire Danes in the past, but this drama demonstrates what an incredible actor she is. I particularly liked the chemistry she has with Demian Lewis in this; I’m still not sure what to think about the Brody character. Maybe that’s the point though. The ending of the season was depressing if only because Carrie is a Cassandra, and I hope she gets more recognition in season two. Also more scenes with her and Brody and her and Saul (ever charismatic and talented Mandy Patinkin). I love how technology has allowed it for me to easily one season of a show in a few settings. It’s actually quite intense and more satisfying since I’ll be able to see so quickly what happens next.

    Sherlock S2Sherlock series 2 – I haven’t seen the new movie yet. I did set my mood by reading House of Silk first before starting this. Off the bat, I liked this more than the first series. In general, I have some issues with this modernization of the Holmes stories. The plots and some of the story characters are heavily adapted to suit the times. I do not like what they did with Moriarity for one thing. He is ridiculously petulant and over the top. The Irene Adler in this series is not in the spirit of the Adler of the books either. Though, I enjoyed Scandal in Belgravia for the most part. The thing I liked about Irene in the book was her actions were for protection and keep herself alive.This Irene’s actions were too over the top villainous. I am also not sure of what to make of the Hound of Baskerville adaptation either; I guess atmospherically it was similar? On a positive note, I do like Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch. I think the adaptation of these characters and their friendship is the best thing about the series. I like that John Watson here is more or less the Watson in the books in spirit. Sherlock here is dry and insular, but not as much as the one in the books. The finale was good too. It made me excited for series 3 which is a good sign.