• Misc & Site

    Monthly Movies/TV – August 2019

    Avengers: Endgame (04-05 08 2019) – I was thoroughly spoiled, but I haven’t been able to watch it since the release. It was a bit long and it had a bit too much fan service, but it was good for the most part. I think the endings fit for most of the characters except I was not satisfied with two of the most important ones. Oh well. I have my favourites from this series and will follow them through.

    TV

    “Jack Ryan” Season 1 – I watched most of these episodes as my partner got a Prime trial. We both like John Krasinski and it was a nice to see Abbie Cornish.

    What We Do in the Shadows” Season 1 – Funny. Nadja is my favourite. There is some good character work as well in this for a an unconventional comedy. I really enjoyed and am looking forward to the next series. Lately, Taika Waititi can’t do wrong.
    Plot, characters, perfect sitcom

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies,  TV

    Monthly Movies/TV – April and May 2019

    Movies

    Hail Caesar! (16 04 2019) – I remember seeing the trailer a couple years ago and looking forward to it but the reviews were not great so I put it off. The pacing in this movie is odd. It’s lacklustre and often times feels like a bunch of random scenes rather than a cohesive movie. I didn’t hate the movie but it did drag for the most of it. Good points is that every scene looks great. I love this era in the film and you can tell the Coen’s do too as they put effort in the look and of course the great casting. All in all, I still gave it a thumbs up on Netflix but I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Bumblebee (24 04 2019) – Much better than anything Michael Bay could ever do. Sweet and easy popcorn flick. I hope the transformers franchise changes for the better.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story (20 05 2019) – I needed to wash my brain after that GoT finale and see Emilia Clarke in a character with nuance. I put off watching this for awhile mostly because I knew it would be a decent popcorn flick. I watched it while doing chores, having lunch, and making Swedish cinnamon rolls. Maybe it’s because I knew going in that the movie had some weak areas, but I liked it. I thought it had a great cast and that everyone got to do something interesting.

    The Death of Stalin (21 05 2019) – This is such an odd movie. It somehow manages to balance the inherent anxiety and fear of the time with black comedy. It’s very unique in its very dark themes and plot, but it is done well. Fantastic cast and acting. It is entertaining and thought provoking. While not completely historically accurate, it probably does capture the gist and spirit of history. A good watch.

    TV

    April:

    The OA” – We started this late March/early April. We watched it slowly for about five episodes but I wanted to move ahead so I binged the rest of Part 1 and all of Part 2 around April 22. I really liked this show. Good acting, very well shot, but it has a very interesting premise and world building. It is very slow so I am wary to recommend it to anyone, but I enjoyed weird shows like this.
    Line of Duty” Series 5 – Have not even seen series 1-4. I liked it and can see why it’s good, but some of these interrogation scenes were very long. End felt a bit dragged out.

    May:

    Game of Thrones” Season 8 – I don’t want to talk about it.

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies

    Monthly Movies/TV – March 2019

    “Dix pour cent (Call my Agent!)” Season 3 (05-07 03 2019) – French comedy series on Netflix that I have been following. My French has been dropping off lately and I haven’t been watching as many French things. I try to do it while knitting so this helped me finish the Pavement sweater.

    “Russian Doll” Season 1 (07 03 2019) – I like the time loop trope. I went in unspoiled and am so glad. I like how well written and acted it was. While it was sometimes crass and crude, the heart of it is about empathy and human connection. Good stuff.

    Ant-Man and the Wasp (07-08 03 2019) – Enjoyable largely because of the cast. Wish it had more Pffeifer!

    “Plan Coeur (The Hookup Plan)” Season 1 (11-12 03 2019) – Not as good as Dix pour cent. So many unlikable characters but at least the two leads and some of the supporting characters are OK. They hooked me with the cliffhanger ending. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone though.

    Le Jeu (Nothing to Hide) (12 03 2019) – French film that about boring middle aged French married couples having problems stuff. Mostly boring and full of unlikable characters. It was short at least.

    Bienvenue a Marly-Gormont (The African Doctor) (19 03 2019) – Better than the last French movie but had some second hand embarrassment from the first hour or so.

    Le Monde est a toi (The World is Yours) (19 03 2019) – I need to take a break from these French movies. I think I’ve watched most of the ones available on Netflix now. This one also had a bad start and the script is not great. The actors made it bearable. Vincent Cassel and Isabelle Adjani are in it. The best thing about this movie was the small moment of genuine friendship between an older guy and a little girl who experiences being abused by their parents.

    Your Name / Kimi no Na wa (24 03 2019) – Beautiful. I’ve been meaning to watch this for awhile. I use to grow up watching a few anime series but I feel like the best ones lately and for most part are the movies.

    Hidden Figures (30 03 2019) – A nice period piece with lots of good acting. There is aspect of feel good Hollywood but at least it’s about Women of Colour.

  • Monthly Movies,  Movies,  TV

    Monthly Movies/TV – February 2019

    King of thieves (18 02 2019) – We watched this for the great cast and while there are some funny moments due primarily to the cast chemistry, the script and pacing was off. Tone was a bit weird too; it was darkly funny but then other times it couldn’t balance the darker moments.

    Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (22 03 2019) – Very fun and worth the praise and help. This movie uses the animated medium to the best of storytelling. Great music and soundtrack and probably the best Sony spider-man movie ever. Will rewatch some of my favourite parts.

    TV shows currently watching:

    • Masterchef UK
    • My Kitchen Rules
    • Great British Sewing Bee
  • Monthly Movies,  TV

    Monthly Movies/TV – January 2019

    Movies

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (04 01 2019) – Finally got around to watching this. It was on the long side but enjoyed most of the movie and its characters.

    Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (06 01 2019) – Very fun. I love the jokes about video games and its tropes. Jack Black really stole his scenes. The cast was all great except Kevin Hart played himself. Definitely in for a sequel.

    Bohemian Rhapsody (19 01 2019) – The casting including the stellar Rami Malek and the last Live Aid scene was good, but this isn’t the best film I’ve seen in awhile. The script and directing were both lacking and I know Singer had to drop out (never liked him any way). The movie felt a bit staid bordering on having that manufactured biopic filming. I enjoyed it overall but it’s a testament to Queen’s music and the great cast.

    Me Before You (25 01 2019) – Yes, it has taken me years to watch this film after reading the book. I liked the book and I adore Emilia Clarke, but I put this off because I knew the ending. I managed not to cry by basically watching most of this while preparing for and eating dinner. Then cleaning up. Clarke and Sam Claifin have a lot of chemistry. I’m glad they didn’t make the sequel as I hated it, but I wish Clarke and Claifin were in more things overall and together.

    TV

    I forgot to track this but I think I got most of it.

    Tidying up with Marie Kondo (01-03 01 2019) – I liked the books. I found the show relaxing except for a couple of home owners. I wish there was more of Marie and Iida.

    Strike (27 01 2019 to 01 02 2019) – All three series: Cuckoo’s Calling, the Silkworm, and Career of Evil. After reading Lethal White, I realized I hadn’t watched the BBC adaptation of the first three. I watched it with my SO and he’s never read the books but expressed an interest in the show. We really liked all three of them. I’ve always liked Burke and Grainger and I think the show did a good job of cutting out the angst of their relationships. It’s also an easy procedural to watch; maybe a bit too easy. It’s not trying to be cutting edge or different than other TV, but since it’s a BBC production, it’s still very good. I look forward to the Lethal White one.

  • 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.
  • Books,  Fitness,  Knitting & Crafting,  TV

    Sunday Salon: February Blues

    Sunday Salon

    Hello, everyone!

    I have not been reading very much lately. I’ve been too busy and tired to read most days. Some readers like to read to unwind, but I am really active and like a book to take me away for hours and hours. Time of which I do not have lately.

    As for my book of today, I am still undecided. I could read my Classics Spin book (Kim by Rudyard Kipling), but I think I will err on my two pile of library books. Goodness, I am glad I have not bought any fiction for awhile. I’m trying to hold out until June as well.

    One of my reading goals this year is to read more out loud. I think it’s an interesting exercise as it could help improve my public speaking and normal conversation. It seems a lot of words and stories were written to be read out loud such as poetry. I hope to do more of that this year.

    Knitting: Haven’t started. The chart is the most complicated one I’ve encountered yet. I gave up colour coding it. I think I will cast on today or this week to get it started.

    In terms of fitness, I signed up for a 10KM next month. I don’t have the proper time to train for it and complete it to the best I could. I am running more though. This week, I ran 6k and 5k. Perhaps by the time the race arrives, I can do that three times a week. Swimming is not going as well as I would like. I can just barely front float and glide. No actual swimming to be done yet. I’ll be glad when the snow starts melting so I can ride my bike again and run more without muddy shoes.

    This weekend, I watched season 2 of “House of Cards” which I enjoyed even more than S1. You can see my review of House of Cards season 1 and a review of the British series.

    What are you doing this weekend?