Sense8 Television Review

Netflix_Sense8_promo_artWow, Netflix sure has a way of bringing unique, thought provoking stories to the small screen. So many shows have come out recently that have blown me away. First, Daredevil was epic, then Grace and Frankie was better than expected and now Sense8 has done it again…for the most part. The thought-child of the Wachowski’s and J. Michael Straczynski, Sense8 is a sci-fi drama that tells the tale of 8 people who can all sense and communicate with one another from across the world. Continue reading

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Nymphomaniac Volume I (Director’s Cut Review)

Nymphomaniac_posterWow. What a movie. I’ve never seen a Lars von Trier film before and I’m not sure if this was the best or worst movie to start with. Nymphomaniac has pretty much a story in a story, where a woman tells a man who found her beaten and bloody in the streets about her life story, mostly involving sex. The stories range from innocent self exploration all the way too her engaging in sexual acts with different men in a short period of time. She has other tales to tell, involving her loving father and shrewish mother, but the majority of the film follows sex.

The cast in the film is pretty phenomenal, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Stacy Martin and Stellan Skarsgard having the strongest roles. The biggest surprise, performance wise was Christian Slater’s role as the lead character’s father. I’ve only ever been impressed by Slater in True Romance, but he offered up an amazing role that was complex. Gainsbourg and Martin play the same character, Joe, and spend most of the film in differing stages of undress. Their performances were both great, but Martin probably shined a little brighter since most of the stories involved Joe at Martin’s age. Shia LaBeouf was good, he was played a character with quite a bit of depth, but was mostly a jerk the whole way through. Skarsgard was also phenomenal and his defense of Gainsborg’s actions through the course of the film is at times comical. Despite his age, he seems to act with a boyish wonder to his eyes, it’s truly captivating.

The subject matter should probably be discussed, yes, there is a lot of nudity in this film, especially the uncut version. There are graphic shots of genitals, breasts, most sex acts and a whole lot of moaning. The film is not a porno, it’s nudity is closely tied with the story and it’s not shown as some sort of gratification. The subject matter is far too intense, despite its occasionally casual and comedic tone. It deals with death, pain and an absence of love. This being the director’s cut, it is filled with potentially more sex scenes, more nudity and more story. I’m not quite sure since I haven’t seen the theatrical cut yet. It’s quite a long watch, but at the end of the film I felt like it was worth it.

Overall, I can’t recommend this to everyone, but it was a great enough watch in my opinion.

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HULLY GULLY (Film Review)

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HULLY GULLY, a film by director Pablo D’Stair, takes a look at a normal, everyday couple and the examines their relationship. The representation of a modern couple is pretty common, but with D’Stair’s style, it comes out different than the run of the mill films that are commonplace. Continue reading

Marco Polo (Episode Ten Review)

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Note: This review will be very short, both due to a large stream of reviews that are also in the process of being written and the fact that the final, season review will be coming out soon.

With Marco Polo coming to a close, they did not disappoint. The episode comes to an epic conclusion, practically tying up the big plots of the season while setting the stage for new ones next year. Relationships progress, friendships are built and new alliances are formed. In terms of finales, they couldn’t have done better.

The performances made the finale even better. All around, this episode had great performances and a gripping story. The action sequences were top-notch in this episode, making it an all around success. The finale gave the most complete look at what the series has to offer in the coming years, and that makes for exciting TV. A review of this season will be coming shortly, but for this episode I can only give it one score.

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Scrooged (Film Review)

Scrooged_film_posterAh, good old Scrooged, aka Bill Murray’s Christmas movie. There is nothing in this world like Scrooged, obviously it’s an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, but it does so in a way that hadn’t really been done before or since. The film follows Frank Cross, a TV executive that cares so little for his employees that he will fire them in an instant. He hates Christmas and spending time with his brother. It looks as if he will forever be this way until he is visited one night by the ghost of his mentor telling him to change his ways. From there he interacts with the three ghosts of past, present and future.

The movie is hilarious, with many nearly all the jokes still landing after the 20+ years it’s been out. Many of the set pieces and references are a bit old, but the comedy is still very much intact. It also has more heart than imagined. The cast is fantastic, with small roles from Bill Murray’s brothers and a few big names sprinkled throughout. Bill Murray is strong in his role as Frank Cross and Bobcat Goldthwait is just as great as a former employee who gets fired in the first few minutes of the movie. I feel like I’m in the minority in terms of my love of Bobcat Goldthwait’s comedy. He was hilarious in this and the Police Academy movies and directed great films like World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America. This might be my favorite role of his, it’s pretty minor and very dark, but it’s still hilarious.

The other supporting cast, like Karen Allen and John Glover are perfect in their roles. John Glover plays the corporate douche amazingly and Karen Allen plays Frank Cross’s former love with heart, making the viewer hope they can push their issues aside and be together. (Though, that is pretty predictable). Everything about this movie is wonderful, from the comedy to the acting. It’s silly, emotional and leaves you excited for the next viewing. For me, it’s a must watch every Christmas.

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Marco Polo (Episode Four & Five Review)

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This review contains spoilers for episodes four and five of the Netflix series, Marco Polo.

So I’m combining my review for these two episodes since the main plot of these two episodes flow into one another. The episodes finds Kublai questioning Marco’s allegiance and then giving him an ultimatum about what to do with his father and uncle, who had recently returned from their travels. The two committed crimes against the Khan, and for that they were to be punished, it was up to young Polo. Before Marco can give Kublai his opinion, the two are attacked by assassins, who successfully poison Kublai Khan. Polo then must determine where the assassins came from and goes on a journey to figure it out.

I’d say I liked both episodes equally. The acting was still great and the story following Marco Polo was probably the most interesting that he’s been involved in. The fifth episode in particular was placed almost solely on his shoulders and he did so to great effect. His story is finally reaching a point where it’s interesting without Kublai Khan. That being said, the series still needs him and the fifth episode sort of floundered without his presence in the majority of it. The side plots going on in the episode were interesting enough, but they were lacking the gravitas that Kublai Khan provides in the show. When he’s on screen, I can’t take my eyes off of it. That’s in no way a criticism of the show or the lead actor, the writers just did a great job making Kublai more interesting than I had previously thought.

Both episodes had their fair share of nudity, but the fifth episode might have had the strangest orgy in the history of TV. I can’t even explain it, it’s that weird. I do find it unfortunate that the series feels that it has to rely on gratuitous female nudity to succeed since the show contains great action and an interesting story without it. There’s no sign the nudity will cease, but at this point all the people who didn’t like that aspect of the show have probably quit watching it.

While both episodes had a lot of meat, and I don’t mean like that, they were probably the weakest of the show. They weren’t bottle episodes, nor were they boring in the slightest, but compared to earlier episodes, it left a lot to be desired.

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