Crime

TV review-Better Call Saul Season 1

Early on it becomes apparent that Jimmy McGill is Saul’s real name. A good fellow that seems to always put his interest on par with the interest of his clients, you might even say that he is more favourable towards the people he is helping (being clients or not) than himself. At times he leaves himself exposed and goes in great lengths for the benefit of others even if that means sticking his neck out. On the other hand we can see how Jimmy might become Saul, for those that are familiar with him from his Breaking Bad time, since we get frequent flashbacks to his old self, who based on all accounts, was quite the cheeky con man, “Slippin’ Jimmy” as they call him.

The best part of the season has to be the “Slippin’ Jimmy” flashbacks, they were full on funny and entertaining and always gave us some insight on who this Jimmy fella is and some clue on where our beloved Saul Goodman is hiding. Up there with the best moments was the story arc of Mike Ehrmantraut, another of the Breaking Bad characters, and his interactions with Jimmy. Jonathan Banks once again gives an amazing performance as Mike, the low profile but hands on action “grandpa”.

Most of the time the show remains low profile its self with not many, if any, overexciting episodes that keep you on the edge of your sit. It’s mainly a character development season with a good, solid narrative that leaves you wanting more.

It was a very good introduction to the first steps of Saul Goodman in the law business and for those that appreciate the Breaking Bad comparisons, it was probably slightly better than the first two seasons of that show and certainly more enjoyable, without the wives or the boring parts.

8/10

Movie Review-A Most Violent Year

This is a smart, gripping and thought provoking film that slipped under the radar. Oscar Isaac gives a simplistic yet great performance as Abel Morales, one that brings memories of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, and that is the biggest complement I can give him. Supported of course by the amazing Jessica Chastain.

Abel is the most intriguing of characters, even though driven by success, he maintains his integrity and never turns away from his moral compass. We follow him in a small part of his journey to success, waiting to see whether the tension will get to him, making him change his righteous ways. His personality is typified in what he says: “The result is never in question for me. Just what path do you take to get there?”.

Smart directing, strong reality-bound characters, compelling dialogues and a solid script, allow us to feel the fear and alarm that fill Abel and his wife, in his efforts for prosperity.

Be warned though, the movie is slow paced and not your regular action packed Hollywood movie. Still it remains riveting and intriguing throughout.

8/10

Breaking Bad-Full Review (No Spoilers)

Breaking Bad demonstrates the power of television, with some of the most fascinating episodes ever broadcasted, with captivating acting and stunning film-making.

Bryan Cranston’s performance is simply breathtaking. Every actor in the show did an excellent job, especially Aaron Paul, who was stupendous, but Cranston was just different class from everybody else. Everything starts and finishes with his performance, he is the alpha and the omega. One of the best performances I have ever experienced and it
lasts for 5 whole seasons. How was that even possible I will never be able to understand. He is always at it, being Walter White and he manages to shine. He gels everything together, even during the first two seasons when the story feels a bit stagnated, and generally whenever that happens, he still comes out on top, keeping the viewer at the edge of their sit.

We could talk about the inaccuracies and things that wouldn’t realistically happen, people not reacting as people in real life would, but then if we are looking for something that is as dull and uninteresting as our daily life then why are we even watching movies and TV shows (there are some exceptions of course-see:Boyhood).

The intricate way that the series is shot has left me in awe. Not sparing any expense and taking the time to take shots from different angles, different places just to make it more immersive, making it feel as if we are spectating from up close. Shots from shovels, vacuum cleaners,from under glass, in the ground, every place that you could think of. Taking us further and deeper, not just scratching the surface, both metaphorically as a TV series and literally.

The music in the show is absolutely superb, every song, every piece of music, or even every sound they decided to include was spot on, augmenting the feelings of the viewer that occur in any particular scene, anxiety, suspense, happiness, enjoyment, everything was masterfully executed.

The montages of cooking, dealing, killings, daily routine or anything that they were supposed to show, were expertly implemented, choosing the best possible song that would complement the picture on screen the best.

The whole story from start to finish was as absorbing and interesting as a story can be, and it’s the fundamental building block that makes the show so good. Even at times when episodes were more filled with Marie and Skyler boring us to death with their whining wife stuff, I was still interested to see what Walter will do next. Just about the middle of part of season 4 and up to the end of season 5 (every episode in season 5 was absolutely astonishing, masterpiece of a TV series season) Breaking Bad provided us with some of the best, if not the best television that one can see.

If you haven’t watched it, you probably should just because of season 5 alone, but be warned, it’s not gonna be easy, some episodes are very wearisome, mainly up to season 3.

8.5/10

TV review- iZombie Episode 1

Interesting, smart and frivolous, those are the 3 most accurate words I can think to describe the first episode.  Liv Moore, the main character portrayed by Rose McIver who is as suited to the role as one can be, encapsulates perfectly all of the main features of the show and then some.  It’s a bit too early to make a call on the supporting cast, but one thing’s for sure, nobody and nothing looks out of place.

Whilst the premise of the show is quiet silly and most definitely not what you would call a quality TV series, it seems as if it’s capable to still be quiet interesting and provide solid entertainment for however long it may last. It combines two of the most common narratives in film and TV industry, Zombies and police procedural, putting its own spin on the numerous cliches and making it promising and exciting to see where the creators choose to take this.

From the first episode it looks like it’s not horror nor drama, it is very much a crime satire with touches of drama. Check it out if you are looking for something lighthearted to get you through the week.  It is bound to become a guilty pleasure for many and I am sure the hardcore fans won’t take long to make an appearance, and who knows it might even get better, after all this was just a first taste of what the show is about.

7/10