TV of the Week Vol. 4

Vol 4! Really?! Well, I assure you I do watch A LOT more TV (or well, streaming services) than that. But this weekend I had a lot of free time, so I caught up with some of my favourite television.

breakingbadBREAKING BAD (2008-2013)

Created by Vince Gilligan

Starring Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul

Synopsis (IMDb): “A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family’s future.”

Yes. I know. I’m still watching this. Shocker. I have no idea why I haven’t seen this before. It’s been something like two years or more when I started to watch this but it was a thing that I did with my then-roommate and after we moved apart, I let it be for quite a while. But the last week I finally continued watching this. The problem is that it really affects me oddly deeply and I can watch something like four episodes and then I need to watch something really fluffy and comforting. It’s really weird because I can’t remember any series going so badly under my skin. I don’t know why this one does. Oh no, not true, Hannibal was even worse, I couldn’t watch it at all after few episodes.

Obviously most of you, who read my blog, have seen the series and I also started the fourth season couple of days ago but again I find it difficult to go back to it. But when I do, I enjoy the writing and acting immensely. Especially the writing, it’s so amazing, the pacing is unbelievable. There are people who probably don’t like how it’s told, at points so slowly, that it’s hardly moving and then it hits you hard on the face when it moves so quickly that it almost hurts. But I actually think that is why Breaking Bad was and is so popular. It also e3e520e96df88334d79b5cbed18fbd58helps a lot that all of the players are amazing. Especially Bryan Cranston. But then again, isn’t he always. He is one my favourite actors of all time. And it makes it easier to relate when these people are a lot like us with their problems and especially how they look. Aaron Paul is cute as a bunny but he could be any bad, but so hot, boy from your high school.  Great series and even though I know the ending it is still a pleasure to watch this even though it’s taking its toll on me.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5) (I might give it full five after finishing it.)

DOWNTON ABBEY (2010-2015)

Created by Julian Fellowes

Starring Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Leslie Nicol, Penelope Wilton & Maggie Smith

Synopsis: “A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century.”

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I would have never, ever thought that Downton Abbey would be one of those series that I end up loving. Before starting to watch it I assumed it’s a soap. A very lavish and stylish, made with a lot of sterling but still a soap. And yes, maybe it is a bit. No, I can’t say that because that word underestimates Downton Abbey too badly. Although I have to admit that some twists in the plot are straight from soap opera world. But all in all, Downton Abbey is affecting drama with a lot of sugar and spice.

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When I started watching Downton Abbey, I watched four seasons in 10 days or so. That hasn’t happened for a while that I get caught so badly to any series. And what was the most surprising I absolutely fell in love with the characters. And that is where the richness of Downton Abbey lies. Its characters. They’re the heart of the whole thing. Yes, the series downton-abbey-ladieslooks amazing, the music is beautiful, English language is always amazing to listen when spoken so elegantly as here (some might call it snobbishly but I love it!) and as a big England fan, I love the scenery. But without rich and full-bodied characters, Downton would be nothing. It’s been a while since I’ve cared fictional characters this much. Even the ones that I don’t like that much. But Fellowes and co. have managed to make every character a human, a breathing, living, mistake-making human. And you accept them as those, love them despite their flaws.

I’ve been shocked to my core by Downton Abbey, I’ve cried so much, felt despair and love with the characters and lived every moment with them and it felt so good! I’m sad that it’s downtonabbey_mrsvioletlanghamnow over. But I’m glad they wrapped it up before it got sour. Btw, it’s surprisingly funny and big thanks for that goes to Maggie Smith. There is a reason why she’s been honoured because of the role again and again. She’s amazing.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

SCREAM season 2 (2016)

Created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel  & Dan Dworkin

Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young & Amadeus Serafini

Synopsis: “What starts as a YouTube video going viral soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town’s troubled past.”

I already reviewed the first season within the films, you can read it here. The second season continues the story in a same way, no big changes here. Murders are still bloody slashers, characters are still young high schoolers and plot repeats itself. No big revelations here. It’s entertaining and quite hooking but that’s it. I did like the first season more.

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The biggest annoyance here is the leading lady, Emma, played by Willa Fitzgerald. Her character is just really, really annoying. She just can’t see outside of her own life. And she’s such an angel. Ugh. I do not like her. So it makes that much harder to watch this. I heard they’re going to do two episodes special or something for Halloween and I kind of hope they will wrapped it up with it. There just isn’t enough steam to continue. But that is just my opinion. Or if they will continue, I hope they make some nice changes like kill the main character in the beginning of the third season. At this point, if feels like writers are playing it safe. But I do admit that the beginning of the season worked and so did the end of the season but as it is 12 episodes long, they could cut at least half of them and viewer would not lose any excitement. There’s basically no character development and the story itself is starting to be boring. Despite my negative thoughts, I did watch it in two nights. And was that scared that I needed to watch some Friends before going to bed.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

P.S. Nice pastiches of classic horror films including the titles of episodes.

Brooke Episode 204

Pretty Valentine 2016 Top-10

I wrote this six days ago and I had all the intentions to publish it on Sunday. Apparently my real life kept me so busy, I totally forgot but because there’s never enough beauty in the world, Happy belated Valentine’s Day, folks!

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As I’ve been sick and still trying to get over it, I treat myself with some nice photos of hot movie people that I’ve only come across lately or only just realised that these people are actually hot. Counting down from the newest hotness. Hopefully you enjoy watching beautiful people in beautiful pictures as much as I do. Happy Valentine’s Day! 

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Freddie Fox. Lovely face, great half-smile. Flamboyant and interesting. English. Check The Riot Club and Pride and what I’ve heard, also Cucumber, the TV series that I haven’t seen.

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Julian Morris. Born in London, mother from Zimbabwe, father from South Africa. Smile. Plays cute guys. Check New Girl & Pretty Little Liars.

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Aaron Paul. Yeah, from Breaking Bad. Those blue eyes. I love his eyes. And the way he says “bitch”. In Breaking Bad, he’s the ultimate bad boy that you just have to rescue. P.S. I’m still watching Breaking Bad, so please, don’t spoil it to me.

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Tom Hardy. I actually said some time ago (after Bane) that I don’t find him hot. Obviously, there was something wrong with me. Obviously. Idiot (= me). So let’s have another look just to make it obvious that it was me who was wrong and for hotness check Inception and Lawless. For talent; anything he’s done.

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Alicia Vikander. What’s not to like? She’s annoyingly beautiful, so talented, stylish and yet she seems to have “’em balls”. She also has Michael Fassbender. Yeah, I kinda hate her. And love at the same time. Check anything she’s done and for hotness I guess The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a good bet, they have nice chemistry with Armie Hammer.

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Gerard Butler. Apparently it took multiple viewings of multiple “lady films” for me to realise that Butler is hottie. The voice, charisma or that bad boy attitude. OR accent, obviously. Check P.S. I Love You or The Ugly Truth if you can. But he’s kinda hot also in How To Train Your Dragon (and 2) and that’s only his voice.

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Bobby Campo. I saw him in Scream the series (TV) and found him attractive. I’ve probably forgotten his face next year this time but for now, he can be one of my valentines.

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Max Irons. Eyes, again. Features of his face too, I guess. Check The Riot Club (which, btw, is nice for anyone, like me, who has a soft spot for snobby English upper class brats that are quite handsome, speak impeccably beautiful English and are arrogant and smart plus dress themselves well) and also Red Riding Hood if you can tolerate the fact that it’s really bad. Max is Jeremy Iron’s son, good luck with living up to his dad’s reputation.

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Oscar Isaac. Talent. Enormous talent. That is just really, really hot. Also, he looks very good and I like his smile. And his body. 😀 But the real point is the talent. He has been the movie world hero of lately to me with his capability of being anything, just check The Force Awakens (for hotness and funny side of his), Ex Machina (for total creepiness) or Inside Llewyn Davis (for being real). He is unbelievably talented and I’m so glad I have so many films of his still to watch. And did I remember mention is musical talent too, the clip is from the film 10 Years, it’s worth to check too, a lot of name actors playing nice small parts.

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Domhnall Gleeson. Again, the talent. Then the hair, eyes, smile, the whole package. There is something very endearing in him. I saw him in Soho when they were taking photos for Esquire magazine in London last October. I still regret that I tried to play it cool. He’s hot and so, so talented and I really would like him to be my valentine for real. Love him! Check anything but my favourites are Ex Machina, Anna Karenina and About Time. And I’m sure I will just love him in Brooklyn. ❤

London Film Festival – Trumbo & Beasts of No Nation reviews

odeonSo, I visited London. Didn’t get to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet but I did see some other celebrities. Domnhall Gleeson was photographed, I guess for some magazine based on the styling, in Soho in some random street corner and stars were taking part to premieres of films. I went to see two films; Beasts of No Nation and Trumbo. The first one had its first LFF screening on Thursday 6th of October and I happened to be in that screening that was also the UK premiere. That meant that the lead actor, Abraham Attah, the writer of the original book, Uzodinma Iweala, AND the director, whom I’ve mentioned before, Cary Fukunaga, were also present. No complaints there.beasts-of-no-nation

BEASTS OF NO NATION (2015)

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Written by Cary Fukunaga & Uzodinma Iweala

Starring Abraham Attah & Idris Elba

Synopsis (IMDb): A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.

Beasts of No Nation is 10 years old passion project for Mr. Fukunaga but it’s as relevant today at it was 10 years ago which is really sad. Fukunaga said in introduction that this film should be felt more than watched and I agree. There are no huge special effects or something extraordinary how it looks or anything that hasn’t been made before. But as Fukunaga said, he wants to make films that can change the views. There isn’t really a message in Beasts of No Nation but no one can watch this film and not somehow get moved by it. Or you are able to do so, I would be concerned.

Abraham Attah is amazing as Agu. According to his own words, he was just playing football when Fukunaga came to tell him and others that there’s an audition. He thought it was for playing football. This is the very first time the Ghanaian boy is acting but he’s simply great. And he even said that it wasn’t hard to do. That’s natural talent then.

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And if Attah is great, so is always good Elba. He plummets in the skin of the commander of the group of child soldiers. And what is the most brilliant in his work, the character, even he is basically the base of the bad, is never inhuman. I think I actually kind of liked him. And that’s scary if anything. I do hope he’ll get an Oscar nomination for the role. As well as Attah, he is that good.

Besides directing, Fukunaga also wrote the script and shot the film himself. The imagery looks beautiful. One would not think that when surrounded by that kind of nature, man would still be capable of such horrible things. I also enjoyed the music, it carried the film and popped out in good ways. The story could have been richer or maybe more dramatic but on the other hand, I appreciate it that Fukunaga kept it small as now everything you see, feels, unfortunately, very true.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Beasts of No Nation will be out in Netflix on October 16th world-wide! Watch it!

trumbo

TRUMBO (2015)

Directed by Jay Roach

Written by John McNamara & Bruce Cook

Starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning,  Louis C.K., John Goodman & Helen Mirren

Synopsis: The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he is blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist.

I actually liked Trumbo more than Beasts of No Nation and it makes me feel horrible. Trumbo does have a proper true story that it is based on but it’s all gone and it’s horribly entertaining and I laughed a lot. “Beasts” is just so much more important. Guess at least the fact that I feel bad tells that Beasts managed to have an effect on me. But back to Trumbo…

First of all, give Cranston an Oscar nom! He is Trumbo. Love him. Helen Mirren was quite over-the-top like I heard but she’s just so good that it doesn’t matter. I also enjoyed performances of Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Roger Bart, David James Elliott, Dean O’Gorman etc. You get the picture, everyone is good. I don’t really have any complaints about this film. Except that. It’s a bit too perfect. It looks like the era before WWII. Clean and steady. The film itself starts right about there but ends much later.

After my stupid complaint, I have to say that I would probably gladly watch this film right now even though I just saw it. It’s very good. And interesting. It looks fab, the script is worth of an Oscar nomination; it’s hilarious but at the same time I did have tears in my eyes. And to a European, it’s kind of always funny to make fun of “true Americans”, in this case I especially enjoyed jokes about John Wayne, he’s so over-rated.

See this film. It’s good. No idea when it opens anywhere.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)

And back to the fact that I didn’t see Benedict Cumberbatch. But I got the second best thing. Or the first. Can’t make up my mind. Anyway, I did see Tom Hiddleston:

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And loads of hearts to him, he seems as genuinely lovely guy that you get from his appearances anywhere. He stayed there for ages to talk to the fans, taking photos and signing autographs. And o’boy, he’s tall! ❤

TV of the Week Vol. 3 – British Invasion

My god, it’s been a while since I posted anything about my favourite TV. And I still watch TV-series regularly. Even more than movies. But about these two I really wanted to write about. Sherlock and Broadchurch. Cumberbatch and Tennant. Great British television that I watch way too rarely. And these two series are a perfect example of that amazing quality that comes out of that island.

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“TV of the week” is a little bit misleading because it’s been already approximately three weeks since I finished watching Broadchurch. I wouldn’t have even known about the series if our (by that I mean Finnish) MTV 3 would have broadcasted it. I’m so glad they did and I’m glad they advertised it enough, so I started to watch it. Broadchurch is eight episodes long miniseries that circles around the death of an 11-year-old boy. The man in lead role is David Tennant, best known (at least to me) of his role of Dr Who that I’ve never watched. For some reason Tennant is still familiar to me. But I really don’t know where? He has a lot of fans and based on his performance in Broadchurch I don’t wonder why. He’s very very good in that role plus he has this weird charm of a Scotsman. All the other actors in the series are also doing extremely nice job. And the story itself works amazingly. I cumbetbatchtennantusually know the culprit in TV or in films but this time I was pleasantly surprised. But the most important thing in Broadchurch to me was the cinematography. It was breath taking. Apparently I need to travel to Dorset, England to see that kind of scenery. So beautiful. I truly recommend the series and give it 4,5/5. Superb.

Sherlock. The one that’s happening now. And has Benedict “the sexiest man alive” Cumberbatch in a leading role. I’ve only seen him before in Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl and I haven’t really realized why everyone’s so taken by him. Well, after watching the first three episodes (the first season is only three episodes but all of them are feature length) and some interviews I’m starting to understand. Very charming, that one. Though, I still prefer the number two on the sexiest list as you might know if you’ve read my Thor review but I have to admit that Cumberbatch has the talent, the charm and the voice as well. And all three first Sherlock “movies” are very entertaining. But without Martin Freeman’s Watson Cumberbatch’s Sherlock wouldn’t have been so brilliant. It’s almost weird how easily Sherlock is transferred to today’s world. It just suits. The atmosphere of the episodes is right in the spot. And again the whole cast is terrible good. And the production design, cinematography, music, editing, basically everything is so high-class it just makes me wonder how come those British series and movies are not getting more attention. They are just so much better than most of the stuff that’s coming out of the States. I’ve been planning to do my exchange (school) in Canada but if I want to be properly trained, I should probably go to Great Britain. No wonder Marvel and HBO are shooting in Europe, the talent seems to be here. 4,5/5.

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If you haven’t watched these two, do!

Photo credits: All Things Benedict Cumberbatch, BBC, The Independent