Kevin Spacey

House of Cards Season 4 Review

If you haven’t watched up to season 3 and don’t want to know anything about the story right before the beginning of season 4, then do not proceed. However, there are no spoilers regarding season 4.

Season 4 picks up, where season 3 left us, with president Frank Underwood fighting for the democratic nomination against Heather Dunbar. At this point his wife, Claire, has left the White house, after having a big falling out between them and disagreeing on her involvement and her wish of being more than just the first lady.

Many thought season 3, was a low point in the series, as it didn’t focus on the nomination for 2016 and not much happened. It has to be said there is a lot more going on in season 4 and whilst we get the same level of character development as we did in season 3, where it was a major aspect, we also get major story development and the two are very well balanced.

It’s good to see Frank having to juggle both the presidency and his campaign and also having to fight on so many fronts, trying to avoid getting blindsided. He has made so many enemies with his actions, it’s hard to keep his head above the water, especially with his wife abandoning his side. The show dealt with the marital problems very cleverly and gave it the gravity it deserved, considering the two of them have been partners for so long, and have been achieving everything together.

One of the most fascinating aspects of House of Cards, is the inclusion of the viewer. Every time a new season begins I eagerly await for Frank to break the 4th wall and give me a peace of his mind. It took a bit of time for that to happen, but it was worth the wait. It also seems that every year, they remove some small characteristics and choose to add new ones. This year they showed us the preparation and integrated it with the actual event, going back and forth between the two, whether that was a speech or a meeting and it was fascinating. It’s the little details that make it one of the best TV shows around and I am glad they are keeping it fresh and keep bringing new ideas into it.

The performances in House of Cards, are superb. Even new characters that are introduced, are portrayed by more than capable actors, who seem to up their game and try to match the man in the lead, Kevin Spacey. It’s so great to get some more taste of Spacey. He is so good as Frank and aided of course by some of the most incredible writing, he is a constant shining light in the show, even when the story doesn’t evolve as intensely as we’d like.

Coming on to the writing, it has to be said, that it continues to amaze me, how exceptional the dialogue in the show is. There is never a drop in quality, always aiming for the top shelf. Nevertheless, there were some points in the narrative, where things happened with the sole purpose to move the story along, in the way that suited the show and allowed them to push it in the direction they intended. It very rarely happens, but those couple of times do no resonate well with the rest of the plot and feel a bit forced.

The connections with  real life events continue and are very well put in the show, as always, and the parallels are very nicely introduced, just as they were last season with the introduction of the president of Russia, Viktor Petrov. The links aren’t only political, there is focus on some social issues, with Frank and Claire and their issues being the trigger.

Finally, I just want to stress that Beau Willimon has been immense, being the creator of the show and I hope that him leaving as showrunner will not have a negative impact on the quality of the show next season, especially at such a crucial time in the story of Frank Underwood.

Spectacular season with amazing performances, new schemes and new obstacles.

8.5/10

Movie Review-Horrible Bosses 2

For the majority of the film the silliness and stupidity of Kurt and Dale, that Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day excellently portray, accompanied by the more serious but equally crazy Nick, played by the stupendous Jason Bateman is very funny but during certain scenes it starts to feel a bit too much and somewhat forced leading to a few moments where the jokes fall a bit flat and end up making the characters look like straight-out imbeciles (mostly Kurt and Dale).

The story follows a similar approach to the first movie but still tries to mix things up, making it a familiar but different narrative, not often the case in comedy sequels where they attempt to replicate the successful formula of what preceded. It unfolds at a fast pace with a few twists along the way, some expected and some not, always keeping things interesting and more importantly entertaining.

Chris Pine shows that he has real comedy chops as he has a significant role in the film and is pure genius in his role as Rex. Everything he touches in the movie turns into comedy gold. He works so well with the 3 main stars and whenever the four of them appear on screen at the same time, it’s not just raining, it is pouring laughs.

All the actors that appear in cameo roles, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston do a good job to add an extra dimension to the movie and help exaggerate a few situations a bit more to squeeze a couple more laughs.

The movie is a very fun ride and the quick tempo allows the comedians in the lead to do their magic and get the most out of a good but sometimes laboured script by providing us a plethora of laughs.

6.5/10