TV Review – Bard of Blood

TL;DR – This an interesting spy series which is unfortunately held back a bit with inconsistent pacing and the flow-on effects from that.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Bard of Blood. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

One of my goals this year has been to expand my global cinema intake from places away from the traditional English speaking countries that I am used to. I have not been as successful as I would have liked, but when a new Indian spy thriller drops on Netflix you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I have finished it, wow, is this series a lot, and I think it might also have lasting repercussions.

So to set the scene, in Balochistan, Pakistan, a group of Indian deep-cover spies are in a lude video internet café using it as a cover as they upload important information back to New Delhi. However, before they can finish, they are captured by the local Taliban. Before they can be executed the Pakistani Intelligence forces intercede and save then, not to keep them alive, but to kill them at the right time and place. Back in India, one of the chiefs in India’s Intelligence bureau Sadiq (Rajit Kapur) feels that something is odd so he seeks out Kabir Anand (Emraan Hashmi) code name Adonis but there is bad blood between them over what happened last time in Pakistan. He instead sends Isha (Sobhita Dhulipala) to retrieve him, however, Sadiq is murdered in his home and Adonis is framed, and only he might be able to save the agents because there is a mole in the Indian government and he does not know who they might be. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound & Fury (Sound & Fury)

TL;DR – A fascinating combination of animation and music, all this a real purpose and theme that made it a intriguing work of art.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene

Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound & Fury (Sound & Fury). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


Earlier this year I mentioned that back in the day Daft Punk created this animated accompaniment to one of their albums and that it was surprising that no one else had really explored this as well. That was at the start of the year since then we have had multiple artists combine an album release with a short film accompaniment. We have had the highs of Anima,The Bash Brothers Experience, and Guava Island. Well, today we get add another to that list with the truly fascinating Sound & Fury.

While there is a story referenced though some recurring moments, it is more a work that focuses on mood and theme. If I was to label it I would say it is a meditation on a post-apocalyptic world by way of Japanese animation and heaping of Mad Max car action and sheer absurdity all put to a rock anthem. This, I hope, will give you some idea as to just how weird this music video/experience is, but also how fascinatingly interesting it is.

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Movie Review – In the Shadow of the Moon

TL;DR – A fascinating look at an issue and how people would react to it as we watch a man’s life fall apart around him.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

In the Shadow of the Moon. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

If you want my interest in a film, you need to take something familiar and twist it, say a serial murder with more going on. Of course, once you have an interesting premise, you need to follow it up, which is not always the case, but today we see a film that comes very close to nailing those two parts. So very close.    

So to set the scene, it is a quiet night in Philadelphia when all of a sudden a woman collapses while driving a bus crashing into multiple cars before being taken out but a cement truck. When the police get to the scene they discover that the driver is covered in her own blood after something liquefied her brain. Three puncture wounds were in her neck, which would be bad, but across the city three more people collapse in the same way. Beat cop Thomas (Boyd Holbrook) makes the link between the three victims and after finding a forth still alive they have a clue only to find everything is much more complicated than they ever thought because the Jane Doe (Cleopatra Coleman) know who Tom is and that his daughter is about to be born.   

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TV Review – The Good Place: A Girl from Arizona Part 1

TL;DR – A great start to propel the season forward.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Review

Well, it is time for all good thing to come to an end, in this case today we are looking at the beginning of the end as we explore the first episode of The Good Place’s fourth and final season. As much as there is sadness, there is also a certain joy that at least the show will get to go out on their own terms. Indeed, from what everyone has said it was a creative decision to end the show at this point and I will always respect that. Well let’s dive into the weird and quirky world of the ever after. 

So to set the scene, in the Season Three finale Pandemonium, The Judge (Maya Rudolph) gave everyone a chance to show that the point system is broken by creating a new neighbourhood to test it out with new people. However, The Bad Place, devious as ever, did not pick the worst people in the world, just the worst people for the team, including Chidi’s (William Jackson Harper) ex Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Knowing that he could not remain impartial Chidi has his mind wiped of everything including his love for Eleanor (Kristen Bell). Now they have one chance to show that everything is wrong and it is not going to be easy. Just a reminder that we will be looking at the episode at the whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – Birders

TL;DR – A fascinating look at the birds that live along the USA/Mexico border   
Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Birders. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I love a good wildlife documentary, where you dive into a place in the world and explore the glory that you find. Even more so when it is an area of the world I don’t have a lot of experience with. Today we get just that with an exploration of the birds along the Texan/Mexican border.   

On the border of the United States of America and Mexico is the Rio Grande/Río Bravo River. These days it is more the focus on human migration however while this is an important area of discussion it is also the site of another migration, birds. This is a look at the people whose lives revolve around the birds, protecting them from the many dangers focusing on this precious land.    

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Movie Review – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

TL;DR – A solid horror film, with a good premise that meanders a bit in the middle before coming back strong in the end.   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

I have to admit that I am not as big of a horror aficionado as a lot of the critics out there. I prefer the tension and suspense of a film like Get Out over a horror gorefest. However, I have made it a plan to try and broaden the films I see and also if you ever want me to see a film having the story by Guillermo del Toro is a great way to do it. With that in mind let’s have a look at a film that champions what goes bump in the night.

In 1968 a lot of things are happening, the Vietnam War is in full swing, Richard Nixon is up for re-election, and in a small town called Mill Valley in Pennsylvania, the local residents are getting ready for Halloween. Stella (Zoe Colletti) does not want to go out but is coaxed out by her friends Auggie (Gabriel Rush) and Chuck (Austin Zajur) because this might be their last Halloween together. After running into local bully Tommy (Austin Abrams) who is on a date with Chuck’s sister Ruthie (Natalie Ganzhorn) they hide in Ramón’s (Michael Garza) car. Ramón is from out of town, so Stella suggests they take him to the Bellows’ House, the town’s local haunted house. Legend says that the family that founded the town locked their daughter Sarah (Kathleen Pollard) in the basement but she would tell stories through the wall to local children and then the kids would die. Everything is going fine until Stella finds a book, a book of Sarah’s stories, a book that is still writing more stories one by one.

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TV Review – Criminal (UK) Season 1

TL;DR – This is an interesting concept, with some powerful performances, but I am not sure three episodes was enough time to really show it off.  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Criminal (UK). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Netflix as the premier multi-national streaming juggernaut (for the time being) has been doing a lot of experimenting in recent years. With Black Mirror: Bandersnatch they gave the world a choose your own adventure in cinematic form and with Ultimate Beastmaster they produced different versions for each of the countries participating. Well today we get to take a look at the next experiment with Criminal a series that produced four different versions for France, Germany, Spain, and the UK. Well today we are going to take a look at the UK version to see how this experiment works out.

To set the scene, we open in on DI Natalie Hobbs’ (Katherine Kelly) team as they begin an interview with the suspect of a murder. For you see her team are experts in interrogation, so they are used when there is a time crunch or a serious case that needs their attention. The first of these involves a doctor (David Tennant) that is accused of molesting and then murdering his step-daughter. The interview has been going for hours and time is running out because if they can’t find some way to get him to crack he could walk free. Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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