TV Review – Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi

TL;DR – This was such a surreal experience even if it might have been the most uncritical political interview I have seen in a while.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


It has been a long time since I have been able to catch an episode of Man Vs. Wild. Back in the day it was this weird yet deeply compelling story of Bear Grylls dropping himself into the wild (or apparently wild) locations and trying to survive by consuming some of his own urine. Well if anything is going to get me back into a show it is Bear Grylls going on a trip with the Indian Prime Minister.

I was wondering how if at all the show had changed over the years and in the first five minutes of the show Bear picks up and examines some elephant dung. So the more things change the more they stay the same. Over the years, there have been some contentions as to how staged the show is if at all. Well here when you have a world leader in a place that he could get killed by a tiger so there is no chance they would be allowed to walk around by themselves and I liked that they acknowledged that the Secret Service is around.

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Movie Review – Kaake Da Viyah

TL;DR – A really interesting scenario with some memorable performances, but it could have been streamlined a bit and it could have dialled the zany back a bit.

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Kaake Da Viyah. Image Credit: Yogmaya Productions.

Review

If there is one genre that I always find interesting, it is the family politics of conflicting generations. There is that divide between tradition and the future, people taking sides, and in the case of Indian cinema a good song or two. Well, today we get to look at a film that is just that as three generations try to use marriage to outmanoeuvre the rest.

So to set the scene, Navi (Jordan Sandhu) is studying and spending as much time away for home as possible because he has found his one true love Mahi (Prabh Grewal). That is because at home his mother Tej (Priti Sapru) and his grandmother Bebe (Nirmal Rishi) are constantly fighting. As Bebe never forgave that her son married Tej without her blessing. He wants to marry Mahi, but he is not sure how to break it to both of them, well the one day he finally finds the courage disaster strikes when he discovers that both his mother and grandmother have found wives for him and they are not Mahi.

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Movie Review – Weathering with You (Tenki no Ko, 天気の子)

TL;DR – There is a lot I could say about this film, but the most important thing is that there were times when I became overwhelmed with its beauty.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Weathering with You (Tenki no Ko, 天気の子). Image Credit: Madman.

Review

Oh wow, just wow. I have seen a lot of films in my time, and a lot of animated films, but rarely do they have moments that just take my breath away. Today we get to take a look at a film that does just that by exploring a new world and mythology that might not be as familiar to people.

So to set the scene, we open in on Hina (Nana Mori) as she holds the hand of her mother in the hospital. Outside is nothing but rain, with the weather matching her life at that moment. But out of the corner of her eye, she sees one ray of sunshine and she runs to it. About a year later Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) arrives by boat to Tokyo, he has run away from home and is looking for a new life in the big city. But life is tough and he ends up on the street where he relents and starts working for Keisuke Suga (Shun Oguri) who runs an occult magazine of dubious quality. However, while working he hears of a girl that can bring the sun, which given that it has already rained for a month is something that a lot of people are interested in.    

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Movie Review – Angel Has Fallen

TL;DR –  I don’t think anything here will surprise you, but it was still a solid action flick, touching on all the big buzzword fears of the moment.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Angel Has Fallen. Image Credit Roadshow Films.

Review

A couple of years ago I popped and on a whim caught a showing of London Has Fallen. It was a perfectly fine if boilerplate action film and overall I did quite enjoy it. Though my mileage was a lot further than a lot of people as I had not seen the first film, so the fact that they hit almost the same plot beats was not as much of an issue. Well the third film in the series is out today and overall it’s pretty much the same as last time, with maybe a little something extra.

So to set the scene, we open with United States Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) holding off a bunch of goons while under attack only for it to be just a paintball exercise. His old Army buddy Wade Jennings (Danny Huston) runs a training outfit and with Mike probably about to take over has head of the Secret Service he’s hoping he can send some training contracts his way. It is not likely as President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) has but a ban on contract armies. Well one day after visiting a doctor’s to discover how bad his back really is Mike is out protecting the President when they come under attack by drones. When he wakes up all of his team is dead, the President is in a coma and he is under arrest because they think he was the one who set it all up.

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TV Review – Hyperdrive: Season 1

TL;DR – This is part Fast and the Furious, part Ninja Warrior, part tyre-screech aficionado love letter. What a fantastic idea, however, to make an idea work you need execution and here is where it falls down.  

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Hyperdrive. Image Credit: Netlfix.

Review

Rarely in my life have I heard an idea that clicked as much as I did today “Ninja Warrior but with cars?” I mean just think of that and your mind is racing through all the possibilities. Indeed, watching that first episode it all started to click and then as that episode went on I started to notice things not quite coming together and as the rest of the season went on it was only compounded by one odd moment after another. So today we are going to have a look at a show where there is this interesting divide between ambition and execution.

Hyperdrive is a show all about putting the cars and the experts that drive them to the extremes. The drivers come from America, Brazil, Japan, and Europe and are absolute experts in their fields. Now before we move on I do want to say none of the critiques I have are for the drivers who are clearly doing an amazing job with what they have been given and are clearly skilled technicians and experts in their fields. Each round they go through a set of challenges like doing a reverse 360° turn in-between tight penalty pylons or drifting your car back and forth along the sides chicane trying to hit targets with the back end of your vehicle. All while wanting to be the fastest because if you are too slow you are eliminated. As far as a concept goes you have a winner here and there are a lot of touches that help add to this, like putting the commentary booth over the top of the finish line, or having the targets full of balls that fly out when they are hit, or the industrial setting that really gels with the aesthetic of the race. However, while there are these small touches and some interesting challenges it is soon clear that there are some things that just have not translated as well as they wanted.

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Movie Review – Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

TL;DR – I have used many adjectives to describe Quentin Tarantino’s films before but dull is a new one here.    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood. Image Credit: Sony.

Review

Quentin Tarantino is a very specific kind of director and sort of puts him in a category where I find a lot of people either love or hate his films. I have found myself falling into both categories in the past with me adoring some of his films like Django Unchained and really not liking some of his other works like The Hateful Eight. However, whatever the case may be, I have always walked out of his films with strong feelings one way or the other, but not this time, this time I walked out looking at my watch to see how much time that took.

So to set the scene, we open in on Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) star of the most popular show on TV Bounty Law as he gives an interview with his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Flash forward to the end of the decade and after a failed swing at movies Rick has been demoted to playing the bad guy or ‘heavy’ in other people’s shows and Cliff is still there as his driver and assistant. Well, one day a new opportunity arises for Rick, a real chance at something, but what neither Rick nor Cliff knows is that there are people out there that do not have everyone’s best interests at heart and a friendly smile might hide violent personality.

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Movie Review – The Little Switzerland (La Pequeña Suiza)

TL;DR – A fun little film about small towns and that chaos they can cause for themselves.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

The Little Switzerland (La Pequeña Suiza). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Ah, small-town life. If there was ever a concept that can transcend language and culture it is the chaos that a small town can find itself in if properly motivated. Today we get to look at a film that has one of the more interesting setups that I have seen and uses it to tell a delightful story about what happens when many competing visions clash together.   

So to set the scene, we open in on the town of Tellería which is located in the Castile-León Automatous Community of Spain but they feel they should be in Basque given the vast majority of the town identifies that way. For years the town has campaigned for this and just when it looked like it would finally happen, politics above their heads means that they are stuck as part of a compromise. Well all is not completely lost, because on that same day as the great embarrassment, local son Gorka (Jon Plazaola), heritage specialist Yolanda (Maggie Civantos), and priest Don Anselmo (Secun de la Rosa) stumble across a secret tomb in the local church in it is the grave of the son of William Tell the famous Swiss hero and reveals that it is a lost Swiss Canton. Now, the town has an option because all of a sudden that is more Swiss than Spanish even though they are Basque.          

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