TV Review – The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready & Season 4

TL;DR – This was the perfect way to end such a special show

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready. Image Credit: NBC Studios.

Review

How do you end a show, does it go out in a whimper, in a mess, in a fleeting flame, or do you stand there as a wave of emotion pours over you. I have seen a lot of finales that have stumbled at the last hurdle, some so bad that they cast the rest of the series into question. However, today I get to take a look at one that gets it right as it says goodbye.

So to set the scene, throughout this season the philosophy gang Michael (Ted Danson), Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) have been fighting to save the afterlife. First from a system that just put everyone in The Bad Place, and then from The Judge (Maya Rudolph) who decided to wipe everything away and start again from scratch. However, finally, after everything the gang has made it to The Good Place and it is here that they get to have their best times. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – The Witcher: Season 1

TL;DR – Fun, brooding, entertaining

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Witcher. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


As someone who generally enjoys fantasy, it is surprising that it took me this long to really get into The Witcher franchise. I had tried in the past with the video games, but by the time I was helping a miss-carried baby to get back into the grave it all got a bit too weird without the context, to add to this, the books seemed this large mountain of work that I didn’t know where to start with. Well with the new series starting I thought now was as good as time as any to dive into the world of the brooding Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill).  

So to set the scene, in a world of magic and monsters lives many feuding kingdoms and power structures in the land known as The Continent. We open in the kingdom of Cintra, ruled by its Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May). All is well until the day that the evil Nilfgaard set their sights on them burning their capital to the ground and killing all they find. Calanthe in her last act sends her granddaughter Cirilla “Ciri”(Freya Allan) away with one mission, to survive and find Geralt. Geralt himself is off in another kingdom stuck in a war between a powerful mage Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen) and a bandit/princess Renfri (Emma Appleton). Meanwhile, a girl with a deformed back works caring for the pigs of her father. But Yennefer of Vengerberg’s (Anya Chalotra) life is forever changed when the powerful sorceress Tissaia de Vries (MyAnna Buring) arrives and buys her for a couple of coins. Now we will be looking at the season as a whole, so there may be some [SPOILERS] ahead.

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Movie Review – The Lighthouse

TL;DR – One of the weirdest films I have ever watched and I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, maybe both?

Score – I honestly don’t know out of 5 stars

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

The Lighthouse. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

Quite often a film will come across your desk that has elements of oddness to it, sometimes that oddness is a sprinkling of seasoning over the finished production, sometimes that oddness is a core component of the meal. However, I have never seen a film that had its oddness so baked into the film that it permeated every aspect of the filmmaking from start to finish. Well, that changes today with The Lighthouse.

So to set the scene, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) has arrived by small boat onto a desolate island in the middle of the Atlantic. He is to be an assistant wickie or lighthouse keeper under Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe). They have to work four hard long weeks isolated on the small island, but then they get to go home with decent pay. The work is hard and the close quarters start to come to bare on the two men, made worse when the winds turn and the waves crash and the island becomes isolated from everything and everyone. Now because of the nature of this film it hard to really discus it on any level without spoiling the film a little bit, so be cautious of that as you read on.

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Exploring the Past – Stardust (2007)

TL;DR – A pure fun ride from start to finish, the kind that leaves a smile on your face for a time after you finish watching it.   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Stardust. Image Credit: Paramount.

Review

There are some films out that that you can only watch once and then there are those that you can watch any time someone suggests it. Today we are looking at the latter, a film that is full of joy from start to finish.

So to set the scene, in the 1800s in Great Brittan there was a little town called Wall. It was a mostly unremarkable little hamlet bar for one odd feature an old wall that runs along its boundary that has an old man (David Kelly) guarding the only opening. Well, one day a young man from the village call Dunstan Thorn (Ben Barnes) decided to go see what was on the other side of the wall. Here he found a marketplace full of bizarre creatures for sale and also servant girl (Kate Magowan) enslaved to an evil witch Ditchwater Sal (Melanie Hill). It was almost a fever dream until nine months later when a baby arrived at Dunstan’s door. Eighteen years later and the young boy Tristan (Charlie Cox) is now grown up and trying to court Victoria (Sienna Miller) when he makes a suggestion that he chases down a falling star and brings it back as proof of his affections. The only problem is that the Star fell across the wall in Stormhold, the star is not an it but a she in Yvaine (Claire Danes), and also Stormhold’s king (Peter O’Toole) has just died and the remaining heirs are trying to track down the necklace that brought Yvaine crashing to the ground, and also also, there is a witch Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is very interested that a new star has fallen because she would very much like to cut out its heart and eat it.

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Why I Love Tron: Legacy

TL;DR – An exploration of a film that effortless blends music, visuals, story, and passion into something that is greater in almost every way.

Tron: Legacy. Image Credit: Disney.

Review


There are some movies that just touch you in your heart, you can’t really explain why? They just fill you with joy and no matter how many times you have watched it, you are always ready to crack open that DVD/BluRay/digital copy/whatever and give it another watch. For me, one such film is Tron: Legacy, it is the hill I am ready to die on and I love it with all my heart.

So to set the scene, in the years since the first Tron, there has been joy and tragedy. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become CEO of ENCOM International and had a son Sam (Owen Best). However, tragedy struck and took his wife away. Flynn refocused his work and made a huge discovery, something that would change everything but days after finding it out he disappears leaving Sam an orphan. Years later Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but while he is the main shareholder of the company he basically leaves ENCOM alone, bar the yearly prank, which this year involves sneaking into the company releasing their new software for free and then base jumping off the top of the tower. This might be a big joke for Sam but is not for Kevin’s old friend and Sam’s mentor Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). He lets Sam know that he got a page from his father, the first communication since he disappeared. It came from the old arcade, so Sam goes to investigate and finds more than he bargains when he gets transported into the world of the computer and discovers all is not well on the Grid.        

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Countdown – My Top 40 Film Score Moments of the Decade (2010-2019)

TL;DR – I countdown all of my top 40 moments in cinematic music from Moana to Dunkirk to Tron and more.

Countdown

As we think back to the decade that was, I have been musing about the amazing films that we have gotten to see and hear. While I was putting together my Top 100 Films of the Decade list one thing that I kept coming back to was the impact that the musical scores had on me so I decided to do a list focused just on them.

In this countdown, we will look at those musical moments that defined the decade for me. Most of these will be instrumental moments, but a couple of songs written for films also make their way into this list as well. For me, these are the moments that I think about long after the film is over, the moments I hum in my head or take me back to the cinema in those first moments I was watching the film. They show the power of the musical form to convey emotion, to tell stories, and to bring excitement.

With this list, we are going to focus on one individual song rather than the score as a whole because these are the moments that punched through for me. If there is a banner, you can click on it and get taken to our review of the film, as well as this, I have added Spotify links so you can listen to the songs yourself. It was really difficult to keep the list to just 40, so I would be really interested to hear what would be on your list, so let me know in the comments below. Well, without any further ado, let’s dive in.

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Movie Review – Jojo Rabbit

TL;DR – A very ambitious film and while it does not quite reach the lofty goals it sets for itself, I give it credit for trying when so many others don’t bother.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Jojo Rabbit. Image Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

Review

I have seen films that have embraced absurdism before, I have seen films that have explored World War Two before, I have never seen an absurdist film about World War Two before, well that is until today. This is a film that honestly I would have loved to be in the pitch meeting for because I have no idea how the hell it got greenlit even though I am glad that it did.

So to set the scene, in the midst of WW2 and living in Nazi Germany we find a young boy called Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis). In the aftermath of his sister dying and his father being away “fighting on the Italian front”, he spends his days at a Deutsches Jungvolk Hitler Youth training camp with his friend Yorki (Archie Yates) run by a very nonplussed Wehrmacht Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell). When recovering from an accident involving a grenade Jojo discovers that his mother Rosie (Scarlett Johansson) has been hiding a Jewish girl called Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic, which brings Jojo into a moral quandary not helped by the suggestions from his good friend Hitler (Taika Waititi).   

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