Movie Review – God’s Own Country (2017)

TL;DR – Much like the Yorkshire Moors that is filmed on, this is a film that is both harsh and yet filled with moments of beauty   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

God's Own Country. Image Credit: British Film Institute.

Review

My family originally came from Yorkshire, so when I spot a film set in the region I always give it a watch to try and connect with my past. Well, I am not sure what I expected when I loaded up God’s Own Country, but what I got was a film that was both frank and also a little optimistic in a world of bleakness.

So to set the scene, Johnny lives and works on a farm with his father Martin (Ian Hart), and his grandmother Deirdre (Gemma Jones). He spends all day grafting on the farm and all night in the local town drinking. Wake up, chuck out the contents of his stomach and repeat. Most of his friends have gone off to university, however, because his dad had a stroke and can’t work the farm like he used to, Johnny has to step up and take all that pressure. Given some issues, Martin calls in some help, as they are about to go into calving season, and Gheorghe (Alec Secăreanu) a Romanian farmhand takes the job. There is instant tension between the two because Johnny sees Gheorghe has a manifestation of his failure but he needs the help.

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Map-It – Mapping Time Team

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited during 20 Seasons of Time Team one of the most wonderful shows to ever grace British television.

Article

Well, today we are continuing our Mapping British TV week with Time Team (after looking at Grand Designs earlier). Time Team is one of those rare shows that was at its heart is an educational show, but it also was one of the most entertaining things on TV in its time. That is such a difficult balance to get right and like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego this is one of the other rare shows that actually managed to pull that off.

For those who don’t know about Time Team, it is a show about exploring the history of the British Isles (and some other places). The show would arrive at a site where people have some questions about a hill, or lump of stone, or an odd blip on a map, and from here they have just three days to excavate as much of the site as possible. They are looking for important finds like mosaic floors of the Romans, motte-and-bailey castles of the Normans, WW2 fornications, ditches next to roads, and never any Roman temples, okay bar that one time. The team includes host Tony Robinson, lead field archaeologist Phil Harding, and experts like Mick Aston, Francis Pryor, Helen Geake, John Gater, Raksha Dave, Stewart Ainsworth, and many more.

The format might be something that goes against most archaeological digs that happen over months and years, but it makes for some great TV. In the end, what the show is mostly doing is engaging in the first prep work on sites for local archaeological groups who could not afford the geophysics themselves. Through this, they have made finds that have reshaped the way that we look at parts of British history.

My love for the show comes from many places. There is the interaction between the hosts and the teams, the allure that at any moment something major could be found that would have Tony Robinson dashing across the site to instigate, Phil’s hat, and also learning about the history of the world. I think thanks to this show I can give you a more in-depth view of the history of Great Britain than I can of my own country, but that may also be an indictment on the history standards in 1990s Australian schools. So without further delving into the past, let’s delve into the past.

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Map-It – Mapping Grand Designs

TL;DR – Today we chart every location visited during 19 seasons of Grand Designs as well as Grand Designs Abroad and Grand Designs Indoors.

Article

Today we are exploring something of a guilty pleasure for me. I don’t know why I love watching these majestic houses come together from scratch given I will likely never be in a position to be able to afford something like that, but all being said and done, I have watched and loved every episode of Grand Designs.

Whether it is host Kevin McCloud and his constant trepidations until he sees that final house and it all snaps together. Whether it is that moment the sad music plays because the glazing has held everything up for 6 months or that time when the sad music played in the first 5 minutes of the show and I was not ready for it. Or whether it is the sheer gumption of these people powering through an English winter and never quite getting in before Christmas, well at least the Christmas that they planned. I simply adore it all.

Recently I had some time set aside and I was catching up on all the episodes that I had missed and I started to wonder what the geographical spread of all the locations would be. Are they all in Sussex, because they felt like that where all in Sussex? Well, it dawned on me that you know, there was something you could do about that and here we are.

Now time for the quick formalities before we start. All of these dots should be considered at best estimations rather than exact locations. Quite often you know roughly where the location of the house in question is, and other times you know it is somewhere in Devon and you have to make the best guess. So, let’s dive into the world of Grand Designs.  

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TV Review – Sex Education: Episode 1

TL;DR – It a show where sex is very much front and centre, however, it is actually the relationships that actually shine through.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Sex Education: Episode 1. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Sex, it is in the name of the show, and if there is any confusion the episode opens with a very explicit view of two people engaged in it. Pretty much there is no misunderstanding in the first five minutes as to what you are going to get with this show. However, as things went on, the one thing that struck me was how caring it all was.

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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Movie Review – Watson and Holmes

TL;DR – This is one of those films where you walk out thinking three things, 1) how dare you charge people money to see this, 2) I am embarrassed for everyone involved in the film & 3) how dare you charge people money to see this     

Score – 0 out of 5 stars

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

Watson and Holmes. Image Credit: Sony

Review

Sometimes you see a film and you have to wonder ‘how did this get greenlit’, like people paid over 40 million dollars to put this together, agents recommended this movie to their clients, and they even got Alan Menken to write a story. However, instead of being excited when every big name cast member walked onto the film, you felt sad, like ‘oh no, they dragged Hugh Laurie into this mess too.’ Why is that, well this is because this is the worst film I have seen all year, and since I am writing this on the 31st of December, I doubt that will be surpassed because this is also the worst film I have ever reviewed. Hey good news Pixels, you are not on the bottom anymore.   

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Movie Review – Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Meari to Majo no Hana, メアリと魔女の花)

 

TL;DR – A beautifully realised world that blends the magical and the real, and while it needed a bit more work structurally it was a joy to watch.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – No

Mary and the Witch's Flower

Review

Back in 2014, there was one of those announcements that come up every now and again that rocked the cinematic community, Studio Ghibli was halting production after the notice that Hayao Miyazaki one of its founders was retiring. Now in the preceding years, Miyazaki has returned to Studio Ghibli, but with the studio being in a state of flux many of its animators struck out on their own and formed Studio Ponoc. Well, today we are taking a look at this new studio’s first feature film Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

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