TL;DR – This is a film that was on the cusp of being something really interesting but just held back by an inconsistent tone
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Sometimes I wonder if this political science adjacent degree I studied for will
be any good in my future and then a political satire falls in my lap. I have a
certain weakness for political worldbuilding and counterfactuals and today we
have an interesting one to explore.
So to set the scene, in the not too distant future in an attempt to clamp down
on the number of gun massacres. The government has created a system where
introverts and loners are forced to wear an “L” Band across their heads that
monitors them and helps them be better members of society. On top of this, once
a week they have to meet for a group therapy session called “Lone-Anon”.
Which is where we meet Lincoln (Brian Letscher), Tanner (Tyson Turrou), Ed (David
Christian Welborn), Franny (Brenda Davidson), Jeremy (Khary Payton), Dabney (Neil
McGowan), and Clara (Denise Dowse). After suffering through group theory
sessions led by Mike (Keith Stevenson) they all got back to Clara’s house because
they worked out that two hours of close proximity with six people is enough to
get the authorities off their backs for the rest of the week. That is until
Clara gets grabbed by the feds and Senise (Melissa Paladino) is brought in to
join the group and things start not adding up.
TL;DR – It explores what happens when a hitman’s work and life collide
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
The hitman is a character that has been around as long as cinema has been a
medium. Sometimes they are the bogeyman lurking in the shadows, sometimes they
are a threat to contend with in running gun battles, and sometimes you kill the
wrong person’s dog and you forfeit your life. One area that does not get as
explored as much as it should is what happens when the hitman goes home and how
does that affect their lives. How can you kill people by day and go home to
your family at night and what happens if those worlds collide together? Well,
today we look at a film that explores this intersection with Chase.
So to set the scene, we open in as Chase (Damien Puckler) and his best friend
who is also his sort of boss Miles (Aries Spears). Chase and Miles have been inseparable
since they were 15 and ran off from foster care together. Miles is the boss and
always seems to be in the position to manipulate the people around him and Chase
is his best hitman. Chase has a simple system, he has a flat rate, double for
women, and triple for kids and his only rules that he is paid in full up front,
he not a repeat service so you will never see him again, and that he does not
leave orphans. Chase has been living that life for a long time but in recent
years he has found two attachments, his girlfriend Blair (Jessica Morris) and
their child Micah (Eli Michael Kaplan). However, while Chase is good at compartmentalising,
Miles thinks he is going soft and well as you can imagine this is a recipe for
TL;DR – With Volume 5 just released and Volume 6 just around the corner we take a moment to map out all of Chef’s Table
If you have been reading my reviews for a long time then you will undoubtedly know that I have a deep love for David Gelb’s striking food documentary series Chef’s Table on Netflix. It is a world full of beautiful food, fascinating stories, and a deep exploration into a world that I don’t really get to visit. Well today the fifth volume (six if you add in France which we do) has dropped and I wanted to take a moment to combine my love of both food and cartography and thus chart out every restaurant visited throughout the series so far (and even into the next volume since the names of the chefs have already been announced). With the maps, if a chef had more than one location featured, we picked the central place explored in the episode.
TL;DR – A fascinating documentary dissecting every facet of food, from its history, its traditions, and the future.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
As a food culture, we have really started to focus on tradition, authenticity, style and presentation, but have we lost something in the process? This is something that chef David Chang is trying to get to the heart off in his new series Ugly Delicious which he hosts with food writer Peter Meehan. Chang who is known from his Momofuku restaurants is pulling apart what makes food the way it is, what makes something traditional and something rebellious, and what is the soul of the food we may eat on a daily basis.
TL;DR – Exploring the interplay of power and greed, and how lives can change in an instant, also you got Aaron Sorkin walk and talks, so what’s not to like?
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
Today is an interesting week because we are looking at a film that is both from a first-time director but also one of the industries long-time greats, Aaron Sorkin. So today we will see if his walk and talk dialogue works when he is the one behind the camera? Now before we start, because of the way the film is structured it is hard to talk about it at all without getting into [SPOILER] territory almost immediately, so if you have not seen the film probably be careful when proceeding.
TL;DR – Visually stunning, and a wonderful follow up to a true Sci-fi classic.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Besides Star Wars later in the year, I don’t think there has been a film as anticipated in the sci-fi world more than Blade Runner 2049. As I mentioned in my retrospective of Blade Runner (see retrospective) the first time I watched the original was just the other day so I came into 2049 with that whole story being very fresh in my mind. Which turns out was a good thing, because Blade Runner 2049 is not just a sequel in name only. So without getting into spoilers here, you may want to go watch the first film in preparation of seeing it here, not that you should need an excuse to see one of the most transformative science fiction films of the last century. I do have to say from the start that I went see Blade Runner 2049 at a premium showing (Gold Class for those in Australia) which I paid for, and I went during the middle of the day when there is usually fewer people. However, still with all this, I was in a session with a couple that loud talked throughout the film, in the quiet contemplative moments, and even answered an unmuted phone at some point. So while I am professional, I can’t put aside the possibility that this might have impacted my perception of the film. Now overall I really liked Blade Runner 2049 but it is hard to talk about it without hitting spoilers, hell even the cast list is a spoiler at this point. So just for the sake of precautions be prepared for [SPOILERS] ahead if you have not seen the film, which you should.
TL;DR – The legacy of Blade Runner is not overstated, even if parts of the film have not aged well.
I continue my look into the gems of films from the past that I missed the first time round by today looking at the most topical of films Blade Runner. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey (see review), Blade Runner is one of those films that came out before I was born, so I missed it the first time around, and due to its content it didn’t get a lot replay on TV as I was growing up. Now while I haven’t seen the film before today, I have read the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? As well as this, Blade Runner has appeared in so many countdown and best of lists, and multiple parodies and had homages have been made of it over the years. So even though I have never see the film, I have seen so many separate bits that I have probably seen a decent chunk of the film over the years. So with all of this I was a bit apprehensive before sitting down and watching it, would it live up to the huge cultural impact it has had, well could anything really, let’s find out. Now before we go on just a moment of clarification, the version I saw was The Final Cut, which as far as I can tell is the cut that Ridley Scott prefers, so there is likely to be differences between this and the theatrical release.