TV

Entourage Review

I was buzzing going into the cinema to watch this movie. Although I have only recently sat down and binge-watched the TV series, I’ve been anticipating to watch their big screen debut and get some more Entourage excitement. The boys didn’t let me down, as they return once again to the city of angels.

Jeremy Piven once again steals the show, the role of agent Ari Gold seems like it was custom made for him. Half of the funny and most hilarious moments happen because of his performance and the wacky character he portrays, just like it was in the show. Furthermore it was great to see that the main boys haven’t lost their touch, each maintaining their old ways. They still offer us the verbal back and forth between them and the banter is as amusing as ever.

Including most of the recurring characters in the show, and great cameos, even some that we are used to seeing in Entourage meant that we were quickly re-familiarized with the LA-Hollywood setting and added a feeling of nostalgia to the mix. Billy Bob Thornton in an pivotal role in the movie was also very important to change it up as much as possible and keep things interesting.

It’s not really movie material through and through, the reason in the first place that it started and lasted 8 seasons on TV. But don’t get me wrong it’s still great comedy, better than most comedy films being released, and it’s even funny for those that haven’t watched the show (as my mate’s reactions would suggest).

Could have been half a season on TV instead of a movie.

7/10

True Detective Season 2 Premiere Review

From the first evidence, this seems to be an even darker themed season than the previous one. With perplexing characters that aren’t in the mood to let the whisky down and continuously make questionable decisions. We probably need more to go on, in order to fully understand them and their actions, however we’ve got enough to be intrigued.

Colin Farrell portrays Ray, a character that for those that watched the first season, looks to be more than a loose cannon than what McConaughey’s Rust was. By that, the clear assumption is Farrell had his work cut out for this one but from this first look he delivered, hopefully the great performances continue until the end. The same holds for the all the members of the great cast which includes, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch. Judging by that it should be a great watch.

There is again the feeling of watching a true cop show, maybe even more than before, with the cops/detectives not being invincible heroes, but real human beings with problems and obstacles than need to be overcome. Maybe over-dramatizing them slightly, nevertheless without removing their integrity and authenticity.

The episode, continues along the lines of slow pace, and all it gives for the most part are unconnected dots and disjointed characters and plot. However in the final minutes, just when you start wondering what the heck is going on, you start to put the dots together and everything starts to make a bit of sense; and we are off, already anticipating the next episode.

Many have posed the question: Can this be as good as the first season? And although the final verdict will come after the last episode, one can only be optimistic from this first taste.

8/10

Game of Thrones Season 5 short review

We’ve come to expect a lot from Game of Thrones, with amazing depth in the setting and characters, great dialogues, intense sword fighting, and most of all captivating storytelling. Yet every single aspect which the series has been excellent at, seems to have taken a step back, beside one. Is it that we’ve gotten used to the plots and betrayals, the unexpected outcomes or is it that it was simply a mediocre season?

We all know by now, that the story unravels quite slowly and we don’t expect or mind the pace, there are plenty of other shows like that. Nevertheless this time around it felt more stagnated than ever. There was a continuous feeling that it derailed from the main story and took more of a filler approach with no extensive developments to the actual “game of thrones”, with most of the wannabe heirs to the throne messing around or being messed around, not even taking part.

However the one aspect of the series that remains intact and never ceases to amaze, is the spectacular production of a show of such massive magnitude. We witnessed some of the best and most fascinating action sequences, taking the bar to a whole never level. At times it was better than most movies; but they ode to provide at least that, with their humongous budget.

Overall a borderline acceptable season, for a show of this calibre. In one word, disappointing.

7/10

Actors that star in original and remake/reboot movie.

Sometimes in the ocean of remakes in Hollywood, they decide to recast actors that starred in the original. (Cameos don’t count because they occur more often than not).

Michael Caine in Sleuthsleuth_movie_image_michael_caine_and_jude_law

Sleuth is a movie about a meeting between Andrew, an older married man and a young handsome man called Milo. Andrew thinks the latter has “stolen” the heart of his wife.  They then proceed in engaging in a battle of wits to see who will come out on top.  Michael Caine portrayed the younger man in the original in 1972 with Laurence Olivier as the married man, and then in the remake in 2007 took the role of Andrew with Jude Law in the role of Milo.

Judi Dench in James Bonddaniel-craig-judi-dench-skyfall

James Bond needs no introduction and for those that have watched the recent movies neither does Judi Dench in the role of ‘M’ (M is the head of MI6).  She was firstly cast in the James Bond movies starring Pierce Brosnan, starting with Goldeneye in 1995  and then she was recast in the Jame Bond reboot with Daniel Craig, with the first movie being Casino Royale in 2006 .

James Garner in Maverickmaverick show

Maverick is originally an American western TV series which run from 1957-1962, and James Garner portrayed Bret Maverick,  who is a poker-playing rounder, who travels around looking for high stakes games.  He later regained his role as Bret Maverick in a series sequel in a show that run from 1981-1982.  After that he was cast as Marshal Zane Cooper in the movie Maverick in 1994 with Mel Gibson starring as the homonymous character.

Entourage series review

A show about an up and coming movie star, his 2 best friends, and his ill-tempered passed it actor brother, his agent and their adventures in Hollywood filled with big egos backstabbing each other. Including a lot of cameos by known actors that intensify the feeling of an accurate representation of reality.

The best attribute of Entourage is its characters, they have consistent personalities that evolve but do not change unrealistically in order to suit some new idea that needs to be implemented no matter what; making the series something that it’s not. Maintaining the same 5 people as the center of the show for 8 seasons, meant that we had a chance to explore their deepest ends, at their highs and lows, and that made us achieve a connection and empathize with them.

An ever-changing setting to the LA backdrop and to the situations the boys find themselves in, made it always interesting and continuously built the anxiety and nervousness when awaiting what is to follow. There was a point when it was becoming a bit dull during season 5, not because it wasn’t equally good but because it was starting to repeat itself, however that was immediately rectified by the seasons that followed.

The show might seem just a light-hearted tour in the Hollywood madness but one can draw conclusions of much deeper meaning for everything that happens, with friendship and relationships at its core, the writers did an incredible job, to keep it fresh and meaningful and I am glad HBO decided to take it off the air when they did instead of milking it; it was time.

Who doesn’t want to take a tour in LA with a movie star? Watching the show is like being part of Vince’s Entourage, where it’s always fun and crazy.

8.5/10

Community Season 6 review

Back to its best, with the peculiar episodes that made us love it in the first place. Exploring one movie theme after the other, putting our favourite characters in the funny circumstances that we are used to seeing from Community and maintaining its unique charm meant this was another entertaining season.

With the introduction of Elroy Patashnik and Frankie portrayed by Keith David and Paget Brewster respectively as regulars on the show, basically replacing Shirley, Troy and Pierce from the group. They tailored the show a bit, in order to suit the new additions but with the rest of the “study group” personnel and format of the show remaining the same, we still got to see some incredibly amusing episodes and of course our annual paintball episode, with a bit of a twist, hilarious as always.

I couldn’t put it better than the last episode of the season did. Some average episodes will always happen, since not everything is going to be a hit for everyone, but with episodes mostly ranging from good to great, I most definitely want to see a 7th season of Community.

Hopefully it gets renewed.

8/10

Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, go ahead and do that, before you got through this one.

This time, we look at the theme of each of the three interpretations and how each of them was executed.

Firstly in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, the English director leaves his mark on both movies, making it look modern as far as tone and texture are concerned, despite of it set a long time ago.  The idea of Sherlock predicting the fight scenes and telling to us what will happen and then acting upon that, is one of the most unique features of the film, and it’s the one of the most entertaining for the viewer, differentiating it from what we are used to.  The fact that they changed it up in the second movie, enhances its effect, especially in the final fight sequence in “A Game of Shadows”.  Moreover the score is composed by the stupendous Hans Zimmer, who again encapsulates the essence of the story with his music.

In BBC’s Sherlock, the story is set in present London, instead of the late 18th century that it originally takes place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.   However that doesn’t stop the creators, to base a lot of the episodes on books by altering them in order to suit the modern backdrop.  On the other hand some episodes are completely made up and still carry the same weight and quality.  Moreover one of the best aspects of the show is looking through the eyes and mind of Sherlock as he deducts through crime scenes or even when showing off.  We follow him closely whilst he reads people, situations and even in his mind palace, getting as close as we’ve ever been to the brilliant consulting detective.

Finally in Elementary, they take a more common route to put Holmes in the mix, it’s set in New York where Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and currently consulting for the NYPD.  Watson is a female character and the show assume that the audience will take a leap of faith and accept that she has the talent to become a detective overnight with Sherlock’s guidance.  The procedural cop theme and the 24 episodes a season, of which most are filler episodes with simple murder cases, don’t help.  Nevertheless some great story arcs, a very emotional and unstable Sherlock Holmes make it worthwhile.  Changing up what we’ve come to know about the characters that surround Sherlock is brave and a very common occurrence in the show, with a plethora of examples like: Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft and especially Irene Adler and Moriarty; something that manages to distinguish the show from its counterparts.

All and all, these are three great interpretations of the famous Sherlock Holmes and all more than rewarding for the fans, but Elementary has to settle for third place, as the other two fight for the throne.

Grace and Frankie-Season 1 Review

A look into the relationships of two couples in their 70s and their kids and what happens when the husbands decide to leave their respective wives of 40 years to marry each other.  Surely we have seen similar narratives before, however this is new take on the matter, with 4 impeccable actors as the main cast.

Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen are terrific actors and we all know that they have been underused in recent years but they prove that acting is a talent that is only improved with experience.  They are aided by some great writing with a fresh take on a commonly used theme.  The show is hilarious but it doesn’t stop there, it has a beating heart, mostly due to the remains of the intimate relationship between Sol and Frankie (Waterston and Tomlin respectively) contrasted with the seemingly more distant Grace and Robert (Fonda and Sheen).

You are always going to get people saying they are just recycling material and doing all the cliches but we seem to forget that relationships in the real world have recurring themes and situations.  This is a show about real life circumstances with different kinds of people and the different ways they react to them. It’s about family, making decisions that don’t only affect ourselves but also those we love, and facing the truth.  It’s funny and it’s touching. There really isn’t more one could ask for.

This is not just a mashup of characters and a few good puns to make us chuckle kind of sitcom.  It feels real and I cannot stress enough how amusing it can be at times.

8/10

Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 1

With another Sherlock Holmes movie coming out in the summer, we take a look at other interpretations of the genius consulting detective and how well they have done in recent years.

Movies/TV Shows considered:

contemporary sherlock holmes

First part of the discussion will be the one thing that all three executions have in common and that is great actors in both major roles of Sherlock and Watson.

In Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Robert Downey Jr. plays the homonymous character accompanied by Jude Law in the role of John Watson.  One of the most widely recognized actors of his generation RDJ adds his unique touch to the character, elegant and explosive, he delivers everything superbly with a minor yet satisfying old English accent as the only non-English actor of the three in question, from puns to monologues of deduction, he is just fascinating to watch on screen. 8.5/10

On BBC’s Sherlock we have one of the rising stars of our time, Benedict Cumberbatch with Martin Freeman playing the doctor.  Cumberbatch is incredible as Sherlock, he has a way with the character that transfers his eccentric energy and sociopath status to the viewer like no other.  Walking on the fine line of being so irritating that sometimes audiences find it too much, he gets the most out of the narcissistic and uncanny side of Sherlock. Along with Freeman they achieve both great moments of drama but also comedy, something that adds another dimension to the show. 9/10

In Elementary, it’s Jonny Lee Miller who shows his acting chops, out of all 3 interpretations he has the most dramatic tension in scenes and he gives scintillating performances time and again in the 3 years the show has been running.  He consistently manages to capture the feelings of Sherlock to perfection and it is when he has to show emotion that he shines. On this occasion Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu and she might not be of the same caliber as Law or Freeman but she does a good job to keep up and support Miller. 8/10

To be fair, there isn’t much between the actors portraying the main man.  However as far as Watson is concerned, although Lucy Liu is a decent actress, she simply doesn’t have the star status and charm that Law and Freeman bring to the game.

Part 2: The production and theme.

Wayward Pines-Ep. 2 Review

Building up on the blocks set in place from the first episode, this time we are thrown in the deeper ends of Wayward Pines driven by the sound of Matt Dillon’s deep and authoritative voice which adds a more enigmatic touch to an already dark backdrop. We get to see more of the unpredictable citizens of the town and more from the creepy sheriff portrayed impeccably by Terrence Howard.

The more we get to see the more interesting it gets, everyone is covered by questions marks, we keep hearing and seeing more of what this god forbidden town is about but we still don’t know what anyone is capable of and how far they will go.

Another episode that keeps the suspense going throughout. Even though most of the major mystery surrounding the city and unknown is gone by the end, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and probably a lot more will arise. You just get the feeling that the intensity will be present during the whole season and that is more than enough to keep watching, unless something goes completely awry.

With both episodes that have been out, Wayward Pines cannot be taken lightly, it’s so thrilling and intriguing that we just have to see what’s going to happen next.

8/10