Category Archives: What To Watch

What To Watch? One of Us

This weekend we watched One of Us on Netflix. It’s short, but not sweet! A great way to spend an evening or two.

One of Us

One of Us Poster

Cast

There are several known actors in this series. The only person I immediately recognized was Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry in GoT. Kate Dickie, a Scottish actress, played Lysa Arryn in GoT and has a minor but important role in One of Us. I know Juliet Stevenson is an award-winning actress. The others are completely new to me. My favorite was Joanna Vanderham (another Scottish actress) as Claire Elliot. It’s nice to see new people on the screen and not say ‘hey, there’s so-and-so from such-and-such!’

Plot

The story is about two Scottish families, the Elliots and the Douglas-es, living on neighboring farms. They get united when the son of one family marries the daughter of the other family. Tragedy strikes when the newly-wed and expecting couple gets murdered in their Edinburgh home. The police soon finds out who committed the crime and try to find him. What they don’t know is that the culprit stole a car and drove to one of the farms where he crashes due to severe weather conditions. After the families take the wounded man inside, they find out he is the killer of the happy couple. The next morning, they find him murdered. One of them is the killer…

What I liked about One of Us

As mentioned before, I like to see new faces on the screen. It was strange to see Gendry in it as his character was completely different from the one he played in GoT. He played it very well, though. I liked it that the plot was unpredictable. Only at the very end did I guess it. There were also several side-stories going on, all very believable, which made it interesting from the beginning to the very end.

What I didn’t like about One of Us

The beginning was a bit slow. It took me the whole first episode to really get into it. At first, it seems like a normal ‘whodunnit,’ but then turns out to be so much more than that.

The people in this series obviously don’t often watch crime series on TV and have no idea about getting rid of evidence 🙂 .

Summary

One of Us is a nice, short (only four episodes) series about the darker side of people. Who can you trust? How far will you go? I’d recommend this for older teenagers and adults due to the subjects in it (violence, drug use, adultery, suicide, murder).

What To Watch? Safe

The other day we began watching the short series ‘Safe’ on Netflix. It is a murder mystery of only eight episodes long, but boy, is it binge-watch-worthy!

Safe

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Cast

The most notable actor of the series is Michael C. Hall, the man who also played the serial killer Dexter, now in the role of surgeon Tom Delaney. He’s lost some weight and has acquired an English accent, but performs the same great acting we’re used to. Less humoristic, more serious, still extremely entertaining.

There are multiple other actors and actresses that play an important role, but I’ll mention two of them. One is his buddy Pete Mayfield, played by Marc Warren, and Detective Sergeant Sophie Mason, played by Amanda Abbington, playing Tom’s girlfriend. Both played their roles splendidly!

Plot

The series follows Tom as he’s looking for his missing daughter and spans consecutive days in a gated community in England. Every single episode begins with a flashback to the evening when things go wrong. Parents have an anniversary and go out for a weekend, daughter throws a party, and a dead body ends up in the pool. The dead body happens to be the boyfriend of Tom’s daughter, who goes missing from that moment on. This should be enough to make you want to watch Safe already 😀 .

What I liked about Safe

I liked seeing Michael C. Hall again (who, I believe, is the executive producer of the series). Dexter was one of my favorite series, and I got used to seeing his cute face. In Safe, however, he is much more serious, showing off his acting talent.

The best part of the series is the plot. It keeps being driven forward. You keep wanting to watch the next episode to find out what happens next. There are so many red herrings! You keep on guessing who did it… and you keep being wrong.

What I didn’t like about Safe

There honestly isn’t much I didn’t like. Maybe it was strange to hear Michael C. Hall talk English instead of American, but I got used to it pretty quickly. The final plot wasn’t far-fetched and very believable, just very unexpected. The whole series was very well thought through.

Summary

I would recommend Safe being watched by teenagers and adults alike. It is real-world stuff. People make stupid choices, getting others hurt, without the blink of an eye. It’s got a good ‘moral-of-the-story’ of ‘don’t do drugs.’

What To Watch? Rampage

Yesterday, we decided on a whim to go to the cinema again. The only option we had, with our daughter in tow, was Rampage, a science fiction monster movie. We were not disappointed.

Rampage

Rampage_2

Cast

The main character, and probably the main reason why people go and watch this movie as you know it’s going to be a good one, is Dwayne Johnson. He plays primatologist David Okoye, working at San Diego wildlife preserve. During his anti-poaching unit days, he rescued albino gorilla George and raised him, teaching him sign language. Okoye happens to have a special forces background (very handy).

Naomie Harris plays his side-kick, Dr. Kate Caldwell, the scientist who knows everything that is going on. Another major player is the cowboy OGA (Other Government Agency) agent Harvey Russell, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The bad guy in the movie is a woman, CEO of Energyne Claire Wyden, played by Malin Åkerman.

Plot

Energyne has done some experiments in space that are too terrible to perform on earth. Unfortunately, things go amiss, and the space station blows up. Amidst the debris that falls to the earth are three samples of the experiment which change the DNA of the three animals that come into contact with them: George the gorilla, a wild wolf, and a crocodile. They grow out of control and get very aggressive. Claire sends out a signal from the top of the company’s building, luring the genetically modified animals to the city. She hopes that the animals kill Dr. Caldwell and so prevent her from spilling the beans on the terrible things Energyne has done.

What I liked about Rampage

Rampage is a good old-fashioned humoristic action movie, up there with 2012, San Andreas, and Godzilla. Having Dwayne Johnson in there is a big attraction although I was a bit disappointed he didn’t show off his pecs bounce 😀 . The humor is funny, sometimes predictable, but well spaced.

Rampage_3.jpgThe CG is spectacular. George is almost human with very life-like facial expressions. The people who have put their minds together to come up with the changes of the wolf and crocodile have been extremely creative. There was one revelation that made my jaw drop. They missed out on some opportunity for George, though.

What I didn’t like about Rampage

There were an awful lot of ‘WTF?’ moments in this movie. At one point, a whole building wall falls over while Johnson jumps out of the window (several stories high), yet there is not a scratch on him. Bullets don’t seem to hurt him either. Those are the little moments that take you out of the otherwise spectacular action scenes. But, as I already stated, the movie needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Summary

Rampage is a fun movie that can be watched by teenaged children (there’s one graphic sexual innuendo at the end) and any lover of huge monsters. It is 107 minutes of fun, spectacular action, and awesome CG.

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What To Watch? The Blues Brothers

Yesterday evening I was browsing through the Netflix assortment for a good movie and stumbled upon The Blues Brothers. It was a movie I wanted to show my kids for a long, long time. I’m not sure for how long this movie will be available, but I suggest you watch it while it’s there!

The Blues Brothers

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This musical comedy is from 1980, nearly forty years old, and a classic. It brought back good memories of my teenage time. I was amazed at how I still could sing every song along 🙂

Cast

The cast in this movie is outstanding. Next to John Belushi as Jake ‘Joliet’ Blues and Dan Ayckroyd as Elwood Blues, there’s a whole list of music greats such as singers James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, musicians Steve “the Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Murphy “Murph” Dunne, Willie “Too Big” Hall, Tom “Bones” Malone, “Blue Lou” Marini, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and “Mr. Fabulous” Alan Rubin. There are guest roles of actors Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, John Candy, and model Twiggy.

Plot

When Jake Blues comes out of a three-year stint in prison, he finds out that the ‘Penguin,’ i.e. the nun who runs the orphanage where Jake and Elwood grew up, owes $5000 in taxes. When they visit the church (where James Brown delivering the gospel), Jake is enlightened, and they decide to ‘put the band back together’ to raise the money to save the orphanage. Unfortunately, in the past three years, the band has been dissolved and Jake and Elwood have to convince their ex-band members to leave their current jobs to join the band again.

What I liked about The Blues Brothers

This movie is extremely funny and just rocks! It’s not a true musical where dialogue is sung. This is rather a show of great songs with some (dubious) acting around it. Most of the songs texts have some link to what is happening, but mostly it’s about the music itself. The plot is fun, slapstick like, the dialogue full of funny one-liners (see image above), and the car chases unbelievable (making it one of the most expensive comedies according to Wikipedia).

Another thing I liked about this movie is its unpretentiousness. Even though the movie was made in 1980, there is no hint of any form of discrimination (leaving out the far right extremists in this remark, of course 😀 ). Yes, there is a scene where Aretha Franklin is left by her ‘man’ (so he can join the band) after her pleading him not to go, but she is the owner of the shop; a very independent woman. There are no remarks about looks or disabilities, and people of all shapes and races sing and dance together without putting emphasis on the fact. What I’m trying to say it that I like that people are in it for their abilities, not for what they look like.

What I didn’t like about The Blues Brothers

Don’t expect to see great acting. They must have been time-deprived when filming John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd tiptoeing to the music as any five-year-old would be able to do it better 😀 . It’s a fact that John Belushi’s drug problem made filming take longer and more expensive, but this didn’t make his acting better. Their singing is also not of the best quality and is better left to the professionals 😀

Even though John Landis edited Dan Aykroyd’s script, the dialogue is still quite stinted most of the time.

Summary

The Blues Brothers is a fun movie with great music that needs to be watched at least once in your lifetime.

The Blues Brothers is available on Amazon.

What To Watch? Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Yesterday we watched Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011), a golden oldie, again. It wasn’t as ‘golden’ as I remembered, but it was good fun anyway. It’s a quirky look on the paranormal, and I’m all for quirky 🙂

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

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Cast

Taye Diggs as vampire Vargas
Taye Diggs as vampire Vargas

Dylan Dog is played by Brandon Routh, and it’s not surprising he played Superman in Superman Returns (2006). He has the chin, the body, and the overall looks for it. Dylan’s sidekick, Marcus, is played by Sam Huntington who, to my surprise, also features in Superman Returns (I’ve got to watch that one again, now). The love interest, Elizabeth Ryan, is played by Anita Briem who has featured in Journey to the Center of the EarthDr. Who, and The Tudors.

The main villain, Vargas, is played by Taye Diggs, an actor who has been nominated for and won many awards. Another character with an important role is Peter Stormare, who plays Gabriel the werewolf. I like him. He has an extensive list of filmography but usually doesn’t play the main character.

Plot

Dylan Dog used to be a detective for the paranormal creatures of this world (‘no pulse, no problem’ was on his business card), but since the death of his girlfriend, is now retired. This changes when his buddy Marcus is attacked by a super zombie and is turned into a zombie. Dylan now wants to know why Elizabeth Ryan’s father has been murdered, where this super zombie came from, and why they’re trying to keep him from taking the case. Together, the three go out to seek the truth, dealing with werewolves, vampires, and zombies on their quest.

Marcus is being told he's a zombie
Marcus is being told he’s a zombie

What I liked about Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Obviously, it’s great to see another movie about paranormal creatures that is not doom and gloom. This is a funny movie with the role of Marcus the funniest. He gets killed and turned into a zombie sort of in the first chapter. From that moment on and continuing for the whole movie, Marcus has to come to terms with the whole ‘being undead’ thing. His dialogue and acting are hilarious and worth the watch.

The creature Belial, who features at the end of the movie, is well done and not too fake (although he does look like he’s wearing huge boots).

What I didn’t like about Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Dylan_Dog_Beliar.jpgI won’t lie. The acting is bad. I tried to figure out why as all these actors have an extensive list of experience. The only thing I could come up with is that the dialogue is often cliche and/or unnatural.

Summary

Dylan Dog is a fun watch if you haven’t got anything else lined up.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is available on Amazon.

 

 

 

What To Watch? The 5th Wave

Last weekend we watched The 5th Wave as its post-apocalyptic premise sounded interesting, and it has Liev Schreiber in it. Here is my review of it.

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave

Plot

Life is good until aliens appear in big ships that hang above the earth. First the aliens, called ‘the others,’ send an electromagnetic pulse that incapacitates all electrical power. This alone already sends the world into chaos. For the second wave, they destroy the world as we know it and decimate the population with earthquakes and their resulting tsunamis. The third wave is a virus that kills most of the people that are left. Only a handful of immune persons are left now. These refugees gather in a camp until the army shows up and warns them of the imminent threat of a fourth attack. They take the children first in busses to bring them to a save location. But things are not as they seem…

Characters

The main character, teenager Cassie Sullivan (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), is trying to keep her family together and save. Unfortunately her mother, who is a doctor, dies as a result of the virus early on. Her little brother Sam (played by Zachary Arthur) is taken away by one of the army busses and her father doesn’t survive what happens next.

Cassie is hellbound to get back to Sam. On her journey, she gets shot and is patched up by a stranger called Evan Walker (played by Alex Roe). He is reluctant to let her go but eventually agrees to come with her to help her get her brother back.

Cassie’s high school crush, Ben Thomas Parish (played by Nick Robinson), has also been taken away by the army busses. The army is under command of Colonel Alexander Vosch (played by Liev Schreiber). Ben doesn’t know Sam is Cassie’s brother, but he takes Sam under his protection as he is so young still.

What I liked about The 5th Wave

Even though the setting is a typical ‘aliens-conquer-the-world’ apocalyptic setting, the story is heartfelt and entertaining. The cg isn’t top-notch, but as the human relationships are the focus of this movie, I wasn’t phased by it. I liked that there wasn’t any gore in it nor any jump-of-your-seat surprise moments.

Chloë Crace Moretz plays her part very well as did Nick Robinson. I always love watching Liev Schreiber on the big screen. He normally plays the bad guy, but his face can be so cute when he smiles.

The turn of events was a nice twist (sorry, no spoiler!). The ending was an open one, leaving the possibility for a sequel.

What I didn’t like about The 5th Wave

The storyline was a bit predictable (except for that one twist I mentioned earlier). It was a shame that Alex Roe took me out of the movie. His facial expressions were not enough for me to make me root for his character.

I found the ending a bit unbelievable, but hey, it wasn’t as bad as some other movies 🙂 . Otherwise, I was quite happy watching the movie. It kept me wanting to know what happened next.

Summary

All in all, it is an entertaining movie you can watch with the whole family and have a discussion afterward about how far a human will go when manipulated to think something is the truth.

The 5th Wave is available on Amazon.

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What To Watch? Resident Evil

This weekend we binge watched the first four Resident Evil movies:

  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Resident Evil: Extinction
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife

Next weekend, we’re going to watch:

  • Resident Evil: Retribution
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Resident Evil

Resident_Evil

Of the four movies we watched, I liked the first one best as it is the most believable (ahum, well, sort of). It had the typical zombie setting: a group of people in limited surroundings, trying to escape zombies who decimate the group one by one. Apparently, the movie was made after a computer game and is the highest-grossing film series based on a video game (according to Wikipedia). Funnily enough, I can remember the Lara Croft, Tombraider game, but not Resident Evil.

Characters and plot

The film starts when the AI Red Queen seals off the Hive, the underground HQ of the Umbrella Corporation, when the deadly T-virus is released, and kills every living being inside with a nerve gas. The virus, unfortunately, awakens the victims again as undead, flesh-eating zombies. A group of unaffected humans (Alice, a few corporate commandos, and an activist, try to shut down the Red Queen (at the moment I must suffer a temporary memory loss as I can’t, for the life of me, remember why) and escape the facility before it is completely in lockdown. They have to race against time and fight the Red Queen and the zombies on their journey.

The most notable characters are Alice (played by Milla Jovovich, also known as Leeloo from The Fifth Element) who is the main character and who suffers from memory loss. Only bit by bit does she remember that she was a security officer for the Umbrella Corporation who passed on secret information, so a group of activists could steal the T-virus and stop the Corporation’s global influence. She appears to be a mean fighting machine, surprising herself with her abilities as her memory returns.

Another known actress is Michelle Rodriguez (know for her roles in Avatar and The Fast & Furious), who plays Rain Ocampo, one of the commandos. I find her a pleasing actress to watch as she always portrays a strong woman, but that’s also my complaint; she always plays the good-hearted warrior. I hope to see her in another type of role one day.

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Another known face is that of James Purefoy, who plays Spence Parks. He is the person who was hired to steal the virus and antidote and to start the outbreak to shut down the Hive. He was recently seen as Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon (albeit looking a bit older).

What I liked about Resident Evil

Compared to the next three movies in the franchise, I liked this one best as I think it has the best character development and surprises. People appear linked to each other in ways that were not known in the beginning, alliances change, deaths are realistic (as much as they can get), and surprises believable. I really got into this movie.

The cg is, for that time, is okay. I liked how they wrapped the dogs in meat to give them the zombie look (this is something I found out afterward). They must have been very well trained dogs since they didn’t eat their own costumes 🙂 .

I loved that scene in the ‘corridor of light.’ Don’t tell me you didn’t 🙂 .

That scene in the corridor of light
That scene in the corridor of light

What I didn’t like about Resident Evil

Shock effects of something suddenly jumping onto the screen freak me out, but that goes with most horror movies, and I’m just a wimp. To be honest, there isn’t much that I didn’t like. Maybe that one shower scene, where Milla tries with all her might to keep her breasts covered and then puts on something while revealing herself. I can remember thinking, ‘why did she bother?’ Then again, those days were different from today and nudity wasn’t expected.

I also never got that dress-thingy. Didn’t they have enough material to finish it? 🙂

The ending was unsatisfying for me, but I have to admit it was a good set-up for the next movie.

Summary

If you’re going to watch the Resident Evil movies, make the most of the first one as it’s the best. The rest are all spin-offs with little story or character building. I’ll let you know what I think about the last two movies.

Resident Evil is available on Amazon.

What To Watch? Black Panther

For Mothers’ Day, I wanted to see Black Panther. There was such a hype about it and it was a Marvel movie, so I had to see it on the big screen.

Black Panther

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To be honest, the first time I heard about Black Panther was in the Forrest Gump movie and since then thought it was a movement, not a superhero (yes, I dropped history from my high school package as soon as it hit the twentieth century. My bad, but I had a reason). As I’m a fan of any superhero, I was eager to see this Black Panther movie.

Plot and Characters

The movie starts with a flashback, when Wakanda king T’Chaka (played by John Kani) visits his brother N’Jobu (played by Sterling K. Brown) in the US, finds out he is planning to help the African-American people by using Wakanda’s secret resource of vibranium, a meteorite metal that affects a plant which gives superpowers to those that ingest it, and kills him, leaving his son behind.

Fast forward to the here and now. King T’Chaka is killed (which is seen in Captain America: Civil War) and his son T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) takes the throne. The arms dealer N’Jobu was dealing with, the South-African Ulysses Klaue (played by Andy Serkis), finally steals a piece of vibranium from a museum, and shit hits the fan. (I’m not going into further detail as I don’t want to spoil the plot). What I must say is that the plot was very predictable.

Michael K. Jordan as N'Jadaka in Black Panther
Michael K. Jordan as N’Jadaka

All characters, except for CIA agent Everett K. Ross (played by Martin Freeman) and arms dealer (played by Andy Serkis), are African-Americans. Well, I don’t actually know if they are all American, but they’re of African descent for sure. I loved watching Michael B. Jordan, who played N’Jadaka, T’Challa’s cousin, even with all the scars from his killings. That man is beautiful. I liked his acting as well, very convincing. To be honest, more so than Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. I liked Letitia Wright as Shuri, T’Challa’s sister. Boseman and Wright played their roles well, although I found it hard to believe they were related, but this always happens in movies.

What I liked

I liked the colorfulness of the movie, the well-choreographed action, the use of cg-rhinoceroses, and the technology suggested. If only it could be true (the technology, of course).

Some parts of the dialogue were funny, but, to be honest, I had hoped for more one-liners.

The music was notable. When the first African sounds blasted through the speakers, I experienced a ‘Circle of Life’ moment, but it was short-lived. I liked how they adjusted the music to the change of location.

I was very impressed with the graphics. Especially the technology looked believable.

I liked there was a female ‘Q,’ and liked the session where the new Panther suit was shown, albeit a bit cliché.

I liked the way they added political hints that living in America is not good for all Americans and that things still need to change in a big way. Not sure it had a place in a Marvel movie, but it was a great way to convey the message to a large audience.

What I didn’t like

Now, I’m having some issues with this movie.

Yes, it is good to see more African(-American)s on the big screen. In the current US political climate, we can’t see enough of them to show the world is a multiracial place. But is it necessary to put them all in one movie? I mean, I’m opposed to segregation, and yet, this is how I see this movie. No integration whatsoever. Oh wait, there is a white fellow featuring the full length of the movie and, lo and behold, he saves the day. Honestly, wasn’t there one Wakandan pilot available who could have piloted the aircraft? I’m having a ‘The Great Wall‘ moment here. Last week, I watched ‘Last Knights‘ and that movie was so much more multi-racially appeasing. If they wanted the movie to be a complete African-American feature, they should’ve left Martin Freeman out. Sorry, Martin.

Another issue, something that I can’t leave out, is that I don’t understand that a country like Wakanda, surrounded by multiple third-world countries, focusses on helping African-Americans. Why don’t they help their African neighbors around them first? Those that don’t have running water in their homes, those that don’t have an infrastructure to rely on as a basis for thriving enterprise, and those that are suffering genocide. Basically, their fellow Africans need more help than African-Americans. Why don’t they show Wakanda helping those people? Why does it always revolve around America? Maybe it was implied, but I must have missed it.

Yet another issue is the fact that the ‘rebels,’ those that want to use the vibranium to help African-Americans, immediately revert to violence. They want to make weapons and ‘overthrow’ the white Americans. Why conquer? Isn’t that an eye for an eye, i.e. rather barbaric? Why lower yourself to the level you abhor? The ending of the movie suggests T’Challa is finally willing to share Wakandan technology, but the majority of the movie shows that change is only achieved after resorting to violence first.

Maybe I’m taking this too far. Maybe I shouldn’t think this movie exists to help multiracialism forward and just watch it as a Marvel superhero movie.

Summary

An excellent addition to the Marvel movies, with colorful images, spectacular action, great acting, and a moral-of-the-story that is debatable.

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Just in case people get me wrong 🙂 :

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What To Watch? Last Knights

Last week we watched only one movie. And it was a good one.

Last Knights

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This is a 2015 movie and, as I just discovered on Wikipedia, based on the forty-seven Ronin historical event. It may explain the Japanese influences you see throughout the movie although the overall feel of it is more a medieval European style. I actually thought the Asian influences were put in by the director, Kazuaki Kiriya. However, the fact that Morgan Freeman plays the honorable nobleman puts the story solidly in the fantasy genre as African-American noblemen weren’t the norm in European nor Japanese history.

Plot and Characters

As mentioned, Morgan Freeman plays Bartok, the nobleman who stands up against a rising tyrant minister, Geza Mott (played by Aksel Hennie), who has won the trust of the emperor (played by Peyman Moaadi). Raiden (played by Clive Owen) is Bartok’s loyal commander and is commanded by Geza Mott, with the approval of the Emperor, to take the life of Bartok as punishment for his treason. From that moment on, Raiden’s spirit spirals downward, forsaking his duty as commander and husband, as closely observed by Geza Mott’s right-hand man Ito (played by Tsuyoshi Ihara).

What I liked

I liked watching Clive Owen. He reminds me of Nicholas Cage, but kinder. He has the face that can be cold and cruel, but also one that can be heartwarming, strong, and passionate. I miss that in Nicholas Cage, who always seems to smirk. Aksel Hennie was well chosen as the paranoid tyrant. He reminds me of Robert Carlyle’s role Durza in Eragon, but this didn’t happen during the movie; he made the role his own. I liked the way the story developed. The desperation, sadness, and despair portrayed by Owen were touchable and heartfelt. There were plot twists I didn’t see coming, which was also a nice surprise. I liked the multi-cultural cast, including Shohrey Aghdashloo, Ayelet Zurer, Ahn Sung-ki, and Cliff Curtis.

What I didn’t like

There wasn’t much I didn’t like. Obviously, there were the WTF moments, like when an archer shoots an arrow through a ring of 10cm diameter at about half a kilometer distance. But otherwise, I have no complaints. The acting was impeccable, the music appropriate and not distracting, and all effects believable. A movie you can get totally absorbed in.

Summary

This is an American movie (i.e. with a happy ending) full of action, suspense, and drama. Not one for the very young as topics of alcoholism, prostitution, and marital problems are touched upon, but worldly teenagers could watch this without a problem. I recommend watching it and promise you some good entertainment.

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What to Watch? Altered Carbon

We did watch one Amazon movie this weekend; The Rite, with Anthony Hopkins. You’d expect something good with him in it, but alas, it wasn’t. So, I’m going to talk about another series we binge-watched on Netflix: Altered Carbon.

Altered Carbon

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Altered Carbon plays about three-hundred-and-fifty years into the future. Cars fly and people can live forever. How do they live forever? Everybody has a disc implanted in their necks, called a ‘stack.’ These contain the ‘essence’ of the human being it belongs to. When you’re not happy with your body anymore or it gets damaged, you simply take the stack out and place it into another body, called ‘a sleeve.’ Needless to say that if your stack gets damaged, you die. Unless you made a backup, of course.

The Plot

Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman, see the eye candy below) wakes up 250 years after his sleeve is terminated, and he is given the choice by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) to either spend the rest of time in prison for his crimes (he was the sole surviving soldier, an envoy, of those defeated in an uprising against the new world order 250 years prior) or to help solve his murder. Everyone thinks he committed suicide, but Bancroft thinks otherwise. His backup was done almost forty-eight hours before the murder, and his memory during those last two days was lost. Takeshi reluctantly takes on the job.

The Cast

Now here is where it gets a bit tricky. See, when you have sleeves at your disposal and you add body copiers, stacks are placed in different bodies left, right, and center. Next to this, we flick from present to past to less past to present, etc. You really have to keep your wits about to follow what is going on. Joel Kinnaman is well chosen for his role as Takeshi Kovacs. I didn’t like him at first as he reminded me of Dolf Lundgren (yes, I’m that old), but I got over it. I loved Martha Higareda as Kirstin Ortega, the feisty detective who failed to solve Bancroft’s murder. Next in the picture is Dichen Lachman as Reileen Kawahara, Kovacs’s sister, who is not to be taken lightly. A sidekick is played by Ato Essandoh as Vernon Elliott, who also plays an important role, and Kovacs former lover is played by Renée Elise Goldsberry (would have loved to have seen more of her, perhaps she’ll return in a follow up season). A special mention for Chris Connor, who beautifully plays the funny AI Poe (after Edgar A. Poe), the hotel (yes, he is the hotel) where Kovacs chooses to stay during his investigation.

Likes

What I liked most about the show is that it has a bit of everything all in the one package. I love stories like these. The cast was well chosen, the dialogue funny, and the action moves believable. And cliffhangers. Plenty of cliffhangers!

Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs just after he is woken up from a 250-year sleep
Joel Kinnaman as Takeshi Kovacs just after he is woken up from a 250-year sleep

Dislikes

There is a lot of nudity in it. And I mean a lot. And most of it is female nudity. There are some willies shown in the last few episodes, and Kinnaman also has a few scenes where his beautiful body is displayed, but most men are shown from the back, whereas the females are shown in a full-frontal pose. I have nothing against nudity, but it always irritates me that there is a discrepancy between showing off the male and female body. As if female bodies are worth less than male bodies and can be dropped in left, right, and center as if they don’t mean anything anyway. There still is that discrimination in the film industry. And of course, it irritates me that you can’t have a good show without any nudity in it anymore.

One other thing that didn’t like was that the dialogue was hard to follow sometimes, mumbled, but I don’t know if this was due to my hearing impediment. No one else of my family was complaining about it. If you have hearing aids, I suggest you wear them 🙂 (which I didn’t).

Summary

I liked the show. For me, it was the full package of mystery, intrigues, love, romance, sci-fi stuff, good old-fashioned fights, and humor. Do check it out (on Netflix).