TV Review – The OA Part 1 and 2

TL;DR – This is a show that entrances you and then just when you think you have everything worked out it shifts the game completely and you are left in awe with what just happened.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

The OA Part 1 and 2. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I have tried to keep up with all the new sci-fi shows dropping on Netflix, but occasionally one of them slips through the cracks, and this week we are looking at one of those with the brilliantly odd The OA. When a friend highly suggested that I give it a watch I thought I would get it an episode or two to see how it was and then at some point during Part 2 I looked up to see that it was 3 am and I truly wondered if I should watch the two last episodes then and there, so that should give you an indication as to how good the show is.

So to set the scene, we open with a rainy day as people drive over a bridge when someone records a woman in white running across to the edge of the bridge and then falling off into the water below. She survives, but won’t tell anybody her name or where she is from. Meanwhile in a small town, in a housing estate that was never finished, Nancy (Alice Krige) and Able (Scott Wilson) are going about their day when someone sends them a link to something online and they watch at their long lost daughter Prairie (Brit Marling) jump off a bridge. They race to her hospital, retelling the story of how their daughter went missing one day seven years ago, they race into her hospital bed where the woman in front of them goes by The OA not Prairie and does not recognise who just walked in, that is until she touches Nancy’s face. For you see when Prairie was taken she was blind but now she can see. Now, from this point onwards, we will be looking at Part 1 and Part 2 as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. 

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TV Review – Bloom: Season One

TL;DR – This series explores the temptation and addiction that we can have with capturing the past. However, while it introduces a lot of important themes, it does not really have the space to digest them all.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Bloom. Image Credit: Stan.

Review

If you could be young again for a day or so, would you take that opportunity, would you try to fix some part of your life? However, what would you do to keep staying young, would you hurt people, would you kill, what if going back meant losing who you were? These are all really deep questions and I don’t know how I myself would answer, but today we are looking at a show that posits these exact questions and more.

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TV Review – Tidelands: Season One

TL;DR – This opener immediately drags you into a world of multiple factions that are all untrustworthy and makes you wonder who will you back?

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Tidelands. Image Credit: Netflix

Review

There is this surreal moment that, I assume if you lived in Vancouver or cities like that you would be used to, when you see someone drive down a street in a film and then instantly realise that you have driven there before. You know those cane fields, the factories, you know that bridge, that university hall. It has happened before with places I have visited overseas, but never here in Australia, and never with Brisbane playing Brisbane.However as a critic, this is potentially dangerous territory, do I like the show because it is good or because I have a natural drive to see the local film industry do well. However, with Netflix’s new show Tidelands, I don’t think this is the case, and as I review all of the first season I think you will see immediately if this is a show that you should dive into or not.     

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Movie Review – Bad Times at the El Royale

TL;DR – A really strong ensemble piece that works like a puzzle getting reveal one piece at a time, which you will enjoy depending on how long you are willing to let the premise of the film take its time to get going.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Bad Times at the El Royale. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

I am always a sucker for a good ensemble film, where you have a group of actors working together to make a better whole of a film. Indeed having a look at my Top 10 Films of All Time (see here) all of them fall on the spectrum of being ensemble films. However, Bad Times at the El Royale is not just an ensemble film, it is also a puzzle where we get to see parts of the story revealed one at a time, and they are all trapped there as a storm rolls in, and there are different motivations and, well I think you know that this is a film for me. However, it might not be a film for everyone, with that in mind let’s dive into the world of the late 1960s and one fateful night.

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Movie Review – A Simple Favor

TL;DR – Crazy, absurd, ridiculous, tense, and an amazing ball of fun

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

A Simple Favor. Image Credit: Lionsgate

Review

The tone is something that can make or break a film, and you would think it would be an easy thing to get right, but alas it can be a tightrope to walk at times. This is especially important when you are blending genres and still trying to make it feel like a constant whole. Today we look at a film A Simple Favor that walks that tightrope from absurdity to high strung tension and makes it look effortless. Now before we get into the review proper, I do want to say that I have not read the book so I will leave it to others more knowledgeable than me to let you know if it is a good adaption or not, and I’ll just focus on the film.

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Movie Review – Upgrade

TL;DR – Bloody, gory, and brutal, yet also funny, insightful, and emotional. It blends an interesting concept, with great acting, and fantastic cinematography to create a really compelling work of cinema.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Upgrade banner

Review

I walked into Upgrade not really knowing what to expect, I knew about some chip in some guys back and the death of his wife but nothing much else. What I was not expecting was to see a deeply emotional work of art, which does so much with its shoestring budget that I was shocked to see it only cost five million to make. It delves into the world of post-humanism that we are rapidly approaching as technology and biology blend together. But with all that at its heart is a story about a man losing everything he loves and trying to live in a world where nothing will bring the love of his life back.

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TV Review – Mystery Road: Season One

TL;DR Mystery Road is a mystery ‘who done it’ where every reveal has weight and you have to watch every episode just to see what happened next.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Mystery Road

Review

Australian TV is kind of going through a period of uncertainty, how does it adapt to a changing global marketplace where streaming services are the new norm, or to governments that do not feel like supporting the arts is a good thing any more. Indeed, when you look at the list of currently running drama series in Australia it is almost anaemic compared to even ten years ago. Within this world, it is an unfortunate reality that you have to make each chance count, and with today’s Mystery Road we have a show that does just that. Now before we move onto the review proper just a couple of points. Firstly, this is based off a series of films created by Ivan Sen that I have unfortunately not seen, however, if you are like me in this regard, don’t worry because anything you do need to know about them is told in the show so you are not missing out. As well as this, we will be looking at the series as a whole so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead, but we will leave discussions about the final episode to a paragraph all to itself so you can skip that if you don’t want to find out the conclusion.

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