Hemlock Grove is a Netflix original that mixes old school horror with gore and sex. And I must admit I was a little skeptic before hand especially after reading about what people thought of it. Then I saw the first two episodes and I was blown away. I knew this was a show that deserved to be watched. Thing about this show is that it asks a lot of patience of you. It takes forever for events to unfold and make sense. A lot is suggested and implied but you really need to sit through some tedious and boring episodes to get rewarded. After the eight episode I almost gave up until I heard from Miss Chofas that it definitely was going to get better. And I am glad I listened since the reward in the finale of the first season is grand and epic. Hemlock Grove takes it time to tell you about the characters that matter and all of them have their good sides and bad sides. Every character has their flaws and weaknesses but at the same time they also are made likeable when needed. I love it when that happens. Since that is quite a realistic approach of how people are. And it gives them a lot of depth and makes them interesting to watch .I liked it how the characters that initially despised each other somehow still managed to connect in a way. Hemlock Grove being a small town makes it hard to avoid people so to then have people ignore each other would come across weird. Now this show does expect of you to accept the supernatural elements. The way that is portrayed is quite admirable. These elements are used sparingly and are quite effective when they do happen. Just in the same fashion as Penny Dreadful the audience is being teased and teased to then be confronted with something thrilling and horrific. This does not mean the buildup of tension and suspense always is solid. Because a few times it gets interrupted by for example sex scenes where one could question the functionality. However there is an incredible atmosphere present that is hard to escape from. It is what will draw most people in. Hemlock Grove is also filled with references to mythologies and other tv shows that could warrant a second viewing. I loved this show and was impressed how this first season ended. I am really psyched to see the second season which I am going to do as soon as possible. It's a little underrated if you ask me. Personally I think this is much better than Penny Dreadful. A show that in my opinion lost it's way after a while and never recovered from it. To give you an idea how much I loved it. I watched episode 3 and following episodes back to back in one day. (Around episode 5,6 and 7 it really is super slow, but then after it picks up and never lets you go.) Give it a chance, you won't be sorry.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
genre: action, drama
When it comes to the direction of Johnnie To I have a love / hate relationship. I like his style and action but the story telling and characterization is always something I have to force myself to get through. It only becomes tolerable and manageable because of the excellent actors like Anthony Wong and Simon Yam. They bring that something extra even when the characters they play are incredibly flat. In Exile and The Mission this nihilism worked in favour of the simple plots. Here in Vengeance it completely fails. Johnny Hallyday as Costello who is out for revenge suffers from a short term memory. Something really interesting could have been done with this. Instead we get scenes that I suppose were meant to be dramatic become farcical. It makes all the serious and intense acting look ridiculous. There is a plot point where Anthony Wong and co are wondering how to proceed. The motivation given is so underwhelming and preposterous that I had given up on taking the film seriously at all. But even watching this in less serious manner the film does it's best to make it even more unbelievable. I gave Vengeance a chance but this is all style with no substance in a very bad way. Huge time waster!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
genre: comedy, drama
Melissa McCarthy has confirmed it if there was any doubt left, she is a one trick pony. And not a very good one. In most reviews about Tammy you will hear how talented Melissa is and that she is a good comedian. Well, I liked her in Mike & Molly but in everything I have seen here in after I can't say I am convinced. At first she had a good excuse. The fact that she was being typecast. But get this. Tammy is written and produced by her and her husband Ben Falcone (the guy who plays the manager of the fast food joint in Tammy). Obviously McCarthy likes playing the roles off these obnoxious types. In here Kathy Bates sets her straight with a message that some really should take to heart. But the problem is before you get to that point you have to endure some supposedly comedic scenes that aren't funny or dramatic in a way that they get to you. The way Tammy is presented simply won't make you like her or feel sorry for her. I believe that is because Melissa McCarthy is a very bad actress and she is very limited in her expressions. I refer to The Heat and Identity Thief for that. Susan Sarandon is great as always and she tries her best to make the most of it. But she is let down by the direction and Melissa McCarthy. One of the funniest scenes if not the funniest scene already was shown in the trailer. The one where she very sweetly offers Melissa's character some alcohol while they are driving. I am not kidding that this is the funniest scene. I know that the official teaser trailer might have given you the impression that Tammy is super funny. But if you compare that to the actual scene you will be very disappointed. This scene makes no sense whatsoever. You are going to rob a place. Are you going to announce this to the world by acting like Tammy or are would you keep it on the down low and be as silent as possible. Of course I know this is only a movie. But even in movies there has to be some logic to it even if it is ridiculous in the real world. And there is no logic. In my opinion it is very weak attempt to be funny without actually being funny. So that should give you an idea how this movie is going to be like. I am not going to waste more words on this. This is terrible and a waste of time. Don't watch!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
genre: comedy, drama
Most of you might already be aware that this film is based on true events described in Neil McCormick's memoir Killing Bono: I was Bono's Doppelganger. Clearly this adaptation is not entirely true and I suggest reading this article what Neil himself has to say about it. It's really funny.
Back to the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. From start to finish it was a blast. It masterfully blends comedy with drama that has a point in the end. What that is, you should see for yourself as the journey to that revelation is very important plus a lot of fun. Now sometimes the plot does gets a bit too much with some crime thrown into it. But at the center it's all about main character Neil McCormick and his continually failure to achieve the things he wants. This of course would not be interesting to see if the actor portraying him (Ben Barnes) wasn't so damn charming. Actually most of the cast in this film are very likable. And a lot of the energy in this film is because of these actors. Very important of course is U2 and their music. There is an air of nostalgia and genuine love for their music that it is hard not to get swept away by it. Are the members of U2 really that nice? This movie makes you think they are. And I want to believe it. Does it really matter if it is true or not? I really loved this film and it is bit hard to understand why it is so underrated. Ignore the bad reviews on this one. It is definitely a must watch!
genre: crime, comedy
Seven Psychopaths is a film I have seen a while ago and did not get to write a review about it. Actually I was hesitant to write one. Because it's one where the acting is so good that you wonder how come everything else is so bad. Not that this film is unwatchable. But let's say it is one that promises a lot and never delivers. For one thing this film is lacking a compelling plot. The characters are dying to do extraordinary things but for some reason they are never allowed. All they do instead is basically what any typical crime movie offers. While watching you are hoping for something clever to pop up, like one last twist that would put everything we saw in a different perspective. Sadly that does not happen. If anything the last scene will make you angry. There were scenes that might be considered witty or funny. But never is the kind that makes you laugh out loud. Is that something I require? No, but a few of those scenes would have been nice at least. If only to offer some contrast. And with the cast involved so much more could have been done. It boggles the mind. Such a waste of talent and names. Only watch this if you want to enjoy some superb acting by the cast. But keep in mind that no matter how you like the actors this film is going to piss you off or if you are lucky will make you sleep after fifty minutes.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Very often these days you see things occurring that makes your blood boil. Changes sometimes are inevitable and needed. But not if they are for the worse. It's very aggravating actually because most of the changes can be stopped if people would take more interest and be more critical. Not showing or being interested in #political or #economical matters is exactly what these #evil #corporations and #governments are counting on. Please for your own sake and future take more interest, be more aware, be more #critical and be prepared to take action to do something about it.
Now why this speech. Well, I came across this #Mexican article where it says that they are going to #tax people for owning a #bike . Why? Because they are out of #money and need to get it from somewhere. And as usual the #people are the victims. It's an #outrage and completely #ridiculous. How far do you think they will for #taxing your #farts. At least they could make a point of that being #polluting. Honestly these things should be stopped. Or I fear the worst. And don't ever think, you can't do something about it. We can, we always can. But you have to be more active, organize or at least be more critical and spread these kinds of stories on the net to get through to people and those evil doers. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Monday, July 14, 2014
genre: action, adventure, science fiction
Let me be frank. I love Transformers. The original ones from the cartoons and the toys. When word got around they would be making live action versions I could not be happier. Then the first one was made and while liking it very much I wasn't happy with Michael Bay's take on it. This love and hate for these movies continued until the third part. I absolutely hated that part. It was Bay out of control. Therefore I was not happy with the news a fourth one was coming. However I am glad to report that Age of Extinction is a major improvement over the third one. It's a Michael Bay in control most of the time. The last thirty minutes the film went downhill again but still not nearly as bad as the third one.
To my astonishment I actually had fun watching. Mark Wahlberg certainly was a good call. His involvement was not always believable. But definitely was more so than Shia ever could be. Although why they needed to add a teenage daughter and a boyfriend escapes me. Bay should know by now that people were getting tired of those teen antics. If you already decided to not put Shia and co in then why still add those teens. Anyways the action and the fights is more focused now. It is much clearer to follow it even if it was hard to make out who the good and bad guys were. The improvement in comparison to earlier films is that the Transformers do get more screen time. The scenes with Optimus Prime easily are the best and it tells me what I already have known for a long time. Give him and his Transformers a more prominent role, diminish the human activity and you have a much better film. Real shame that Michael Bay could not cut down on the running time. It clearly is too long and too much. Which brings me to the inclusion of the dinobots. They are featured at the very end. At a time most people will have become exhausted. The impact that their entrance should have made therefore is very negligible. Dinobots always have rocked. Their cameo treatment was a big disappointment. Overall Transformers Age of Extinction is good fun. But don't expect too much. There is a heavy been there done that feel to it.