The West Wing Weekly Podcast

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From left to right – cast members of The West Wing – John Spencer, Martin Sheen, Mary McCormack, Richard Schiff, Joshua Malina.

Look at that photo. Look at it a little bit longer. It will eventually hit you. Do you see it? :) If you don’t I will mention what it is further down in the post.

If you are in any way a fan of The West Wing, you really need to get listening to this podcast. I have mentioned this podcast here before but today I really want to shout out loud about it, because they are doing some live shows – most of which are already sold out, however more live shows may appear and you might want to add the podcast on your Facebook and Twitter so you can keep in the loop about upcoming events.

I know for a lot of us in Australia, we were truly mucked around by Channel Nine when it came to viewing The West Wing. I know I gave up on trying to watch it thanks to their terrible scheduling problems. I do remember seeing episodes scheduled for prime time air way past midnight.

So once the entire series had been released here on DVD, I bought it and watched it all, finally the one in charge of what episodes I watched and when. You can do this too! The complete series – that is all 7 seasons – is now just $84 at JB Hifi.

I’ve probably seen the entire series in full at least 10 times now, at least once a year it gets pulled out for a rewatch, and I usually managed to catch it on Foxtel from time to time. Most of the episodes I know very well.

I do recommend that you watch the episode first then listen to the podcast for that episode. They now have a handy episode index. If you like you can also team this up with the excellent West Wing Episode Guide, which has some interview snippets and a bit more info.

So what is wrong in the photo, did you see it?

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The Untied States Of America. There are some who might say this was perhaps a prediction of some kind. ;) This error was fixed before filming. Lucky someone spotted it!

The West Wing

Take That Live

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Regular readers of the blog may recall that I am a huge Take That fan. After booking the tickets for Take That back in April, I made a Take That CD for the car which contains nearly 50 of their songs including my 5 favourite Take That songs. That is the only music I have listened to in my car ever since.

A good friend of mine who is originally from the UK wanted to go to the concert and of course so did I, so we made plans. I booked the tickets something like 5 days earlier than everyone else could buy them via a Telstra offer, I forget the exact details. Because the concert was in Sydney which is a couple of hours drive from here, we booked a hotel in Parramatta.

Then life went on but with the added bonus of knowing November 17th 2017 would be Take That Day. I last saw Take That live in concert on the 25th of September 1995, so it has been a long wait for me. My friend lived in the UK until 6 years ago. She was lucky enough to go to a lot of their concerts there. On Thursday I prepared with a manicure –

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We headed up to Sydney around midday on Friday, planning an early burger at Grill’d and a stop at Gelato Messina which was very close to the hotel. So close I could see it from our hotel room window. I feel like this was a secret message to me. ;)

For anyone who is not living in Sydney, the transport system can be terrifying. I grew up in Adelaide where things were relatively simple, there were only 4 train lines and all you had to worry about is what platform your train is leaving from and does it stop at your station.

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I did some research beforehand and all my research told me we had to go to Lidcombe but when we checked in we asked to make sure and we were told it was Strathfield we needed to change trains at. When we got to the train station we could not see anyone to ask, so we went with the information we’d been given at the hotel but it was wrong. Lucky we had gone early, even with this diversion we made it to Qudos Bank Area with miles of time to spare and plenty of time to purchase merchandise.

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I saw this hoodie on Twitter some months ago, a fan had posted a photo of it. I loved it and asked how much it had been – 70 pounds was the answer. Currently that should make it around $122AUD – I was expecting it to be somewhere around $150. But it was $100, so I bought it. And they had a lovely sparkly diamante band logo tee shirt which I bought and immediately went to the bathroom and changed into it. Because I love sparkly things and I love that logo.

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Then we headed to our seats, which were super duper excellent. It was the weirdest thing, because I had an aisle seat and there were maybe 6 seats on our side of the aisle, then it went into a large section of people on the other side. Exactly like you see at the right hand side of the above photo, people, then a large dark space which is the aisle.

Our side was all people who booked early the same as we did, so I guess you would call us the “super fans”. On the other side of the aisle were people who were not super fans like we were. Some of them remained in their seats for the entire show and did not appear to sing along at all.

On our side of the aisle, there was a LOT of dancing, singing, and even occasional screaming when our favourite band member ventured over to our side of the stage. I did not sit down in my seat once after the band took to the stage, nor did my friend.

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Fitbit was not quite sure what to make of all this. I would dearly love to know what songs were playing when I did 12 minutes of outdoor biking.

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There’s my favourite, Mark Owen. Not only were we close to the boys themselves but also to the video screen so we had a great view of everything. One thing I love about these lads, they are not scared to sparkle and sequin it up.

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I believe Sam from The Annoyed Thyroid was somewhere in the above photo. She was meant to see Take That in Newcastle, only that concert was cancelled. I hope you had just as great a time as we did!

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And we did have a most excellent time both at the concert, back at the hotel where we indulged in some pink champagne before bedtime to celebrate our happy evening and then a lovely buffet breakfast the next morning. We then dropped into Costco and IKEA on our way home, because that is how we roll.

Take That, travel

Catching A Killer

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When I was growing up, The Bill was huge here in Australia. We watched it as a family and we all loved the show – and thus a fascination with all things British policing was born.

Over the years there have been many great documentary shows on the subject – everything from Traffic Cops to Police Interceptors to Sky Cops to 24 Hours In Police Custody – the more of these shows you watch, the more you see how shows like The Bill got things pretty right. You could easily plop the cast of The Bill down into a real UK police station and you would not be able to tell the difference.

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A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon Catching A Killer on the ABC here in Australia – you can still view it on iView (until September 16) and I highly recommend it. There are only two episodes of the show. For those not in Australia, you can currently catch these docos on youtube here and here.

To me the most fascinating part of the documentary is how the police use the ANPR system to track the movement of vehicles in the UK. In both episodes it is a crucial part of the investigation, especially in the second episode. They were able to take 5300 vehicles on the roads at the time and narrow it down to one vehicle.

Did you know that the UK has over 8500 cameras capturing the movements of vehicles across the country? These records are stored for up to two years in the National ANPR Data Center, which can be accessed, analysed and used as evidence as part of investigations by UK law enforcement agencies.

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The police can type in a numberplate and see every occasion that particular vehicle has been seen on camera, and they can track where a vehicle goes – the screenshot above shows a vehicle which the owner claimed was at home hitting various cameras across the UK where the green circles are..

They have a pretty decent CCTV network over in the UK as well, and watching them piece together the movements of cars and people of interest is a sight to be seen.

All this to say, if you have a spare minute, watch these documentaries. Especially those of you who enjoyed Line of Duty, this is like the real thing but without all the police corruption and major plot twists!

television shows

I Listen To Things

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For many weeks here on Wednesdays I have been doing reviews of movies and television shows. We will return to that yet again in the future, I promise. This week I want to talk about The West Wing Weekly podcast, Google Chromecast, and various images.

For the most part I do not set up technical things up in this house. That task falls to The Other Half. So I mostly just accept the way things are, and when my old tv box which allowed me to watch things on the server began acting up, I inherited a Google Chromecast, or at least I think I did. I truly am clueless about it.

If I watch something on Netflix or on our server, when I am done with it if I do not switch back to Foxtel images begin to appear on my screen via Google Chromecast. Many of the images are quite stunning to look at and I do enjoy seeing them. There are NASA images of the day, images from Google Earth View, and images taken in national parks across America. The image up the top there, Turquoise Swirls in the Black Sea is one of the rotating images, as is the image you see below, which is – Lakes and Rivers Have Ice Too.

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Here are some of the Chromecast Backgrounds collected together beautifully for you to view, if you like. Here you can view some of the Earth View images. Here you can find the NASA image of the day and their archives.

It may not come as a surprise to you to hear this but a big phrase in my world is “I would like to know more about that” and I love that the NASA images can easily be found by typing in their title to your favourite search engine (eg Solar Evaporation Ponds Near Moab, Utah which you are about to see a part of below, click on the link for the whole photo and story) and you get a page with a story about the photo.

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I do not love that the images for Digital Globe have no backstory attached and the images really can’t be found so much online. Most of them just have a location and if you type that location into your search engine of choice, you are going to get all kinds of odd unrelated stuff and I don’t always know what it is I am seeing. I will say though, I did NOT need to look at the location to know when I was looking at Oahu from space partly because I have spent so much time looking at it on Google Maps, and partly because of the natatorium shown.

I was surprised to find that I never listened to any of The West Wing Weekly (TWWW) podcasts. I’m not a big podcast person to be truthful with you. I listened to the Breaking Bad Insider Podcasts and deeply loved every single one of them, I recently enjoyed the Better Call Saul Insider podcasts, and somehow I stumbled onto TWWW. I have been binging like an addict. The good thing is, I know the episodes so well I do not have to watch them, so I can just put my cordless headphones on and enjoy the podcast.

While I am listening, Chromecast is throwing these gorgeous images onto my screen, which I did find distracting to begin with but now I have seen all the images and it is cycling through them, I can just enjoy the beauty of them. The earth is such an amazing and gorgeous place especially when seen from space.

television shows, The West Wing

Line Of Duty

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When I heard that Thandie Newton was guest starring in Season 4 of Line Of Duty, I had a choice to make – watch the previous three seasons, or just watch Season 4 and see if I liked the show. I chose the latter and I think I made the right decision at the time, but my advice to others would likely be, watch the whole series in order.

Due to my deep love for Thandie thanks to her previous works and especially recently, her work in WestWorld, I was on her characters side from the beginning. If I had watched the previous seasons I would probably have been suspicious of her character instead.

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I watched season 4 in two sittings because it is the kind of show that you need to watch the next episode right away – better to stop mid-episode than wait till the end if you have things to do because most of the time they have cliffhangers at the end of the episode. There were only a couple of times where I missed some connection due to not seeing previous seasons.

After watching season 4, I discovered seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix here in Australia (check Hulu and Amazon in the USA), and it was a fast gallop through those seasons. Season one I watched in one sitting, it was just 5 episodes long.

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So what is this show all about? We begin with the following – DS Steve Arnott is in charge of an operation that goes wrong. His fellow police officers try to cover up their mistakes but he refuses to lie about what happened.

He then is a bit of an outcast among his colleagues and ends up being transferred to an Anti Corruption unit, led by Superintendent Ted Hastings. Meanwhile DC Kate Fleming is already working undercover on the case he is about to be assigned – checking into DCI Tony Gates who has a suspiciously high arrest rate.

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This show is sometimes like being strapped into a rollercoaster and launched repeatedly from a standing start to travel instantly at enormous speeds as a surprise to yourself, in the dark, with no idea of what is coming next.

You think you know where things are going, and the rollercoaster lurches in a totally different direction. You think you know who the good guys are, you are probably going to be wrong, and even the good guys have flaws and can bend like the branches of a tree when required.

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Seasons 2-4 of the show were filmed in Northern Ireland and for fans of The Fall you might occasionally spot a familiar location. Each season has a different main guest star character, and you never know who might show up in a supporting role.

Seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix here in Australia, season 4 just finished playing on 13th Street on Foxtel, and sometimes this show can be seen on the ABC as well. If you enjoy police drama, this is a great show to watch. If you enjoy complex plots and twists and turns, this is definitely a show you should seek out. I’d go so far to say, I have never seen a show twist and turn as much as this one, and even the interview scenes with the actors sat round a table disputing “facts” can be incredibly gripping and occasionally shocking.

I am now a huge fan of the main cast which includes Martin Compton as Steve Arnott, Vicky McClure as Kate Fleming, and Adrian Dunbar as Ted Hastings. I loved this show! :)

television shows

Animal Kingdom – The TV Series

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There is no question about it – we are living in the days of peak television. How else could I have let this fantastic show sit on my “to watch” list for nearly 2 years?

I have been a huge fan of Scott Speedman since the Felicity days. So when I heard they were making a TV series based on the Animal Kingdom movie and Scott Speedman was set to be one of the main cast, I added that to my list of shows to watch. And just recently – having finished Line of Duty which is another show I will be writing a post about soon – I spotted it on Netflix and dove in head first. Wow, what a ride!

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Having completed all the episodes presently available, I went to watch the movie again. I had seen it a while ago but the main thing I remembered was Ben Mendelsohn and his dark, malevolent presence in that film.

If you have seen the movie do not think of it as a spoiler for the TV series – almost none of the events of the movie appear in the TV show as yet and I have seen season 2 episode 7.

The main thing the movie has given the TV show is the cast of characters and their backstory. The show begins in a very similar way to the movie, but then the TV show moves off onto a different path and what a delight it is to travel with it.

If I had to describe this show, it would be a longer version of Point Break. The surfing is there, the jumping out of planes, the robberies, the crime planning, the California setting, virtually everything that was great about Point Break is present here. However they have added to it a fantastic cast and some highly talented and experienced crew.

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I love what they have done with Smurf – played by Ellen Barkin – in particular her costumes are great but they have taken her character from the movie and stepped it up like 300 notches – not only is she the matriarch of this crime family but she is a huge part of it, basically the ringleader of it, choosing the jobs, allocating the work, laundering the money, making big decisions. I loved the scene where she is ironing male underwear, too. This role in the movie gained Jacki Weaver an Oscar nomination. Due to so much excellent television Ellen Barkin has not received any nominations for her portrayal of Smurf and that is a great shame.

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Shawn Hatosy is playing the character of Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody – played by Ben Mendelsohn in the movie – and Shawn is really amazing in this role, SO CREEPY. Before I saw this my one question was who could possibly do justice to that role and now that question has been answered. It is very interesting that in the first season I felt quite scared by his character but in the second season somehow they turn the tables a bit and I found myself cheering him on and hoping he might find what he is looking for.

There is a lot of shirtlessness and nudity which you will either love or dislike. I’m totally fine with it myself. There are some other aspects to this show which people might not enjoy – definitely some violence but it is not pointless, it fits in with what is happening on the show and it is not done just for kicks, there is always a reason for it.

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Me personally the one storyline I did not enjoy was the detective trying to get info on this crime family by whatever means necessary. I think that went a little too far and by the end of the first season I wanted to slap that detective for about an hour. I was truly grateful when she did not show up in Season 2, at least she has not yet, though there are still a few episodes left to watch.

Some interesting names popped up in the directors chair – in particular Regina King, Laura Innes and Emmy Rossum have all directed episodes of this show.

Where can you see this in Australia? Netflix only at this stage, I am afraid. :/

television shows

Movie Catch Up 10

Loved

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Okja

“Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating animal named Okja.” IMDB

Okja is not the first made for Netflix film but it is the first one I have seen. It is controversial in many ways which I won’t go into – this review does a better job of giving you some of the story about what happened at Cannes and also why this movie would probably not have been made without Netflix.

Having seen the trailer for this movie I had a pretty good idea of what I would be in for. I said to the other half – I don’t know if I want to watch this movie with you because I am pretty sure it is going to make me cry. I thought some more about it and I said to myself, I can control my emotions! So one Friday night I said I am determined I will not cry about a CGI superpig, we will watch it together.

Not only did I cry about a cgi superpig, but it was completely ugly crying. I do not want to spoil any of this movie for you because I do think it is worth seeing, though I believe you will need Netflix to be able to see it I do wonder if they might allow TV networks to purchase it and show it at a later time in order to give this movie a larger audience. Okja raised a lot of questions for me that I am still not sure I have answers for, and even a week later I still find myself thinking about it.

This movie had a great cast many of whom were playing teeny tiny parts compared to other parts they have done. Every part counts and these performances added up to make something great. Tilda Swinton is in this movie, and there are two of her! That was something I really loved. I did feel like Giancarlo Esposito was under-utilised and I wanted to know more about his character and what his motivations were as that did not seem especially clear. I also felt like a lot had been cut out of this movie and that might have been one of the things cut.

It was lovely to see Stephen Yeun away from The Walking Dead though his role was fairly small he provided one of my biggest laugh out loud moments of the movie when he showed his new tattoo. Jake Gyllenhaal played such a crazy character who was also quite evil. I was not sure whether to laugh or despise him, though despise him won out after a particularly brutal series of events. Paul Dano was here too, with a beautiful, calming character in the midst of much character craziness.

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Before I Fall

“February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.” IMDB

I forget where I heard about this movie but wherever it was marketed it to me as similar to Groundhog Day which is one of my favourite movies of all time, so how could I resist? One icy Saturday afternoon when I decided to use the soft sole express and had 90 minutes to fill where I could not walk around the house, I thought this movie would be perfect. And I was right. I really enjoyed it overall. Though some of the music in the movie, in particular the party scene which we saw multiple times, I was not a great fan of.

It was kind of all my favourite movies as a teenager mixed together to create a new thing entirely and very well done. The Groundhog Day aspect was excellent. If you like that movie you will probably enjoy this even if you don’t enjoy watching angsty emo teenagers.

I enjoyed the cast overall but Zoey Dutch played the main role of Sam and I think she was brilliant in it. I had never seen her before in anything but I became a fan and will definitely look out for more of her work.

Disliked

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To The Bone

“A young woman is dealing with anorexia. She meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.” IMDB

Another very controversial Netflix movie, but this one is Not Great At All and in my opinion it had nothing to do with any of the controversial reasons why. It just seemed to be absolutely pointless and have no message at all. It did not educate, it did not illuminate, it did very little at all.

Keanu Reeves was completely wasted as a doctor who was supposedly unconventional in the way he treated this disease – I would say this doctor had no plan or idea of how to treat this disease or perhaps if he did, we never got to see or understand what his treatment might be. Other than taking his patients to see some rain art, because they are alive, but it seemed to me like an excuse to have a montage of people dancing in the rain.

What a lost opportunity for the people who do suffer from eating disorders, to have their stories told in an engaging and educational way. It is my understanding that the lead actress – Lily Collins who happens to be Phil Collins daughter – has suffered from this disease, as had the director. I am not sure what exactly they were trying to achieve here but I felt like whatever it was, they did not manage it.

movies

Movie Catch Up 9

Some quick movie bites today.

Loved

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Florence Foster Jenkins

“The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.” IMDB

I do not even know what to say about this film. I feel like all the words will not be enough. It was just beautiful. The costumes were stunning, the hair and makeup was gorgeous, everything was delightfully sparkly. The scene with the sparkly star head dress, I could watch that over and over. Photos do not do it justice, the movement of the stars, so beautiful.

And at the end when it takes a sad turn towards the tragic, one cannot help but feel that Florence Foster Jenkins truly sucked the marrow out of life, and when she came to die, discovered that she had truly sung, even if it was off key.

Bring your kleenex for this one folks, Meryl is in fine form and you will need them. Earplugs are optional. I highly recommend this film.

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Christine

“The story of Christine Chubbuck, a 1970s TV reporter struggling with depression and professional frustrations as she tries to advance her career.” IMDB

Some films never quite get the recognition or attention they deserve. Christine is one such movie. Set in the mid 70s the costumes and sets are incredibly well done and that is what I noticed at first, until the first rate performances took over. What a great ensemble cast this is, backing up the main star Rebecca Hall beautifully.

Michael C Hall was the main reason I had this on my to-watch list and he was great as always. Another stand out was Timothy Simons who plays Jonah on Veep – I really liked his performance here. A pleasant surprise was J. Smith-Cameron who I loved from Rectify, here playing the mother of Christine.

This is not a happy story as Christine was the first person ever to attempt suicide live on television. It is a story well told and performed. Would I recommend it? As long as you know this is not a happy story and especially if you are a fan of any of the cast.

Disliked

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

“Remake of the 1956 film noir film “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” in which a writer’s plan to expose a corrupt district attorney takes an unexpected turn.” IMDB

Given that one of my favourite movies of all time is a remake of a movie from the mid-50’s which starred Michael Douglas – A Perfect Murder – I had high hopes for this one which also starred Michael Douglas plus that cute guy from Desperate Housewives AKA Jesse Metcalfe. My high hopes were sadly not met.

You know when you are part way into a movie and you just know it is bad and is going to get worse? That is how I felt here. So about 16 minutes into this one, I turned it off and put on A Perfect Murder instead. It was the right thing to do. :)

movies

TV Catch Up – The Handmaid’s Tale

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Based on the 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, you will hear a lot of big words used to describe this show. The IMDB description says “Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.” which is more 50 cent words than your average sentence involves. I prefer the version that Elisabeth Moss gave on the Seth Myers show.

“Try to stay with me it is a little far fetched. It is about a right wing fundamentalist group who takes over the government, and takes away all of women’s rights.” The story really is not quite that simple and it is not just the womens rights that vanish – plenty of men get punished and killed on this show as well. Though there is one scene where you might be right on board with that as a concept.

I read the book a few months ago knowing this series was on the way and knowing I would want to see it because Elisabeth Moss is one of my long time favourites. She is the true star of this series, she is the center of this story and she is absolutely magnificent. She will greatly deserve every award she wins and I have no doubt it will be all of them available. However she might face some competition from Evan Rachel Wood for her incredible performance in WestWorld.
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When I heard that Joseph Fiennes would play the Commander and Yvonne Strahovski would be Serena Joy, I really could not picture that having read the book. I had seen much older people in those roles. However it has worked out for the best, because somehow Yvonne made me feel empathy for Serena Joy – certainly not something I expected and not something I experienced when I read the book.

Samira Wiley – who Orange Is The New Black fans will know as Poussey – is another stand out cast member in a show full of amazing performances. O-T Fagbenle is incredible as Luke and Max Minghella is great as Nick the driver. The costumes are beautifully done.

Taken by itself this show is terrifying enough. When you combine it with some of the other shows of recent times – WestWorld in particular has some similar themes along these same lines and I typed some thoughts about that here – we might be in the middle of peak television right now, but it is also the middle of scary as heck television, in my opinion.

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Starting tomorrow the full series is available on SBS on Demand – for free. But here are my suggestions re watching it –

This is NOT a show to binge watch. You need to take some time between episodes. You need to let it sink in. The first 3 episodes are especially heavy to watch. This is not a show for right before bedtime because it will make you think and you won’t get to sleep. I’ll be honest and say even when I watched the episodes early in the day I found myself thinking about them at bedtime. They resonate pretty strongly.

Having said all of that, I do think this is a very important show to watch especially right now, with all the recent talk of internment camps for certain groups of people etc. Are we at the top of the slippery slope that could lead us to a world like this? I sincerely hope not. :(

television shows

Movie Catch Up 8

Loved

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John Wick 2

“After returning to the criminal underworld to repay a debt, John Wick discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life.” IMDB

I talked about the first John Wick last week – we have now seen the second one. It was somehow even more beautiful than the first one, in every aspect. The budget has clearly gone up, so the fake death scenes were a bit more bloody and sometimes even slightly gory, perhaps this would be too much for some who did enjoy the first one.

We learn a little bit more about the hitman universe this time, which I appreciated a lot. In particular we learned why the suits are a must – they are basically a bullet proof vest hidden in a suit. I loved that the costume designer played the part of the tailor and he was utterly fantastic in *both* roles. The costumes in this are excellent.

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In the first movie a story was told about John Wick killing 3 people with a pencil, and this time we see exactly how he does that. I kind of feel like the myth was better than the actuality but it certainly gave all involved an opportunity to showcase their skills, whether it be stuntmen, actors, art department and/or prop department, and probably more people than we will ever know about. It makes me hope there will be a DVD commentary track so we can find out more about how this was done.

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There are a lot of big names showing up in this movie and I imagine there will be even more in the next one. Everybody is going to want to get killed by John Wick! The stand out for me was Common. That is the first time I have seen him in a movie bu I am now a fan so I will be putting some of his other works on my to-see list.

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The other stand out features of this film was the amazing cinematography, there were some stunningly gorgeous shots in here. The set design was truly killer especially in the last museum sequences, and the beginning action sequence of this film where John attempts to retrieve his stolen car was so incredible and brilliantly done. I loved the door thing.

Recently they announced they will be doing a TV series spin off from this world called The Continental, which is the hotel chain that is home to the world’s league of assassins. No cast has been announced yet but I do believe this is a great idea and there are so many stories that could be told here. If Lance Reddick signs on, the levels of awesomeness will be huge. I want to know more about his character! However he is likely to be in Bosch season 4, which might make that difficult.

This is the best action movie I have ever seen. Ever. Truly great work by everyone involved. It makes total sense to me that both of these John Wick movies were directed by Chad Stahelski who has a long career as a stunt performer and coordinator. If this is what happens when stunt performers direct movies, then we need a lot more stunt performers to direct movies.

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Buster’s Mal Heart

“A family man’s chance encounter with a conspiracy-obsessed drifter leaves him on the run from the police and an impending event known as The Inversion.” IMDB

Am I here? Who am I? Why am I here? Should I grab a stock pot, put it on the kitchen counter, and poop in it? These are all questions that came to me as a surprise when I watched this film. I think there was life before seeing that scene, and life afterwards, and the two are not the same thing. I did not screenshot it for you, see how nice I am? ;) But it was quite the sight.

It did not take long for me to become a huge Rami Malek fan. The camera loves him, even when he has all the hair and the beard they add on in parts of this movie. I have no idea what the heck this movie was all about or whether *any* of it was real, at all. Rami has such a talent for making the unreal seem like it is real. He does it beautifully in Mr Robot, too.

I enjoyed every minute Rami was on the screen, and if you are a fan you will too. if you are not a fan, this is not a movie for you. I would not have enjoyed this at all with a lesser actor or someone I was not a fan of. I have no clue what this movie was trying to tell me. Was it all a dream? Was it caused by sleep deprivation? Was it mental illness? What really happened, and in what order did it happen?

It is especially interesting that Rami Malek signed up to do this movie *before* he signed onto Mr Robot, and yet the two could easily be entwined within each other, some of the same themes run through here, and there is some music at times which felt like it could be put into Mr Robot.

All I have are questions, and zero answers. I loved this movie even though I am – like Buster and Jonah, completely and totally lost. Am I floating in a boat, out at sea, covered in frogs? I DON’T KNOW. :)

The one thing I do know, I am excited to see Bohemian Rhapsody where Rami will play the role of Freddie Mercury, due for release in late 2018.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

“The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.” IMDB

I have never seen or read anything Harry Potter related at all. I saw part of the trailer for this a while ago and I thought I might like to see it, so when I discovered The Other Half intended to watch it I said I would like to sit in.

I think it might actually be a quite scary place, the inner mind of J.K. Rowling, if some of these beasts actually live there. But it might also be quite a magical place. This movie certainly was magical. There will be a second one, and this might be one we go to the cinema to see, along with John Wick 3.

I am not the biggest fan of CGI stuff and there was a lot of it in this movie, but I did love the movie. Even though I have an irrational dislike of Eddie Redmayne. It is odd, because I have seen movies where he was in them and I quite enjoyed them, I just do not like the guy and I have no idea why. It might be hair related. I did want to get a pair of scissors and just trim his hair slightly shorter, so it was not quite so close to his eyes.

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