Series Review: Fargo – Season 4 (2020)

How I’ve waited for this season to drop. I am a huge fan of this show, loving every season so far. So I was of course anxiously waiting for this one to start airing. It was even supposed to air this spring, but then it got delayed. But it finally started this Autumn, and now it has wrapped up. So let’s talk about it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Fargo” season 4!

Kansas City, 1950. We follow two crime syndicates, one an African-American group led by Loy Cannon (Chris Rock), and the other an Italian gangster family led by Josto Fadda (Jason Schwartzman). And as we follow their struggle against each other, a bunch of other interesting figures get involved in both their own dealings, and the antics of the syndicates. From a nurse (Jessie Buckley) with some shady secrets, to a policeman with PTSD and OCD (Jack Huston), to a devoutly Mormon U.S. marshal (Timothy Olyphant), all kinds of colorful figures occupy this season of “Fargo”. The story in this is a lot more straightforward than some of the previous ones, being less strange than some of the previous outings. But with this said, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot going on. Because this season has more threads going on than one might at first assume. And while I am more often than not interested and entertained by everything going on, I do feel like the storytelling here is the weakest of all the seasons. That said, this season has a bunch of great parts, and when this season is on top, it’s fantastic. But then there’s a fair amount of times, especially towards the middle of the season, where it loses a bit of steam for me. It does lose some of its momentum in those parts, but never enough to be considered outright bad. The overall package here is till solid.

Where the storytelling falters at points, the characters remain the best part of this show. All are colorful and nuanced and really fascinating. And the cast is fantastic too, featuring top tier work from people like Chris Rock, Jessie Buckley, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Timothy Olyphant, Jack Huston, Salvatore Esposito, E’myri Crutchfield, Andrew Bird, Jeremie Harris, and many more.

As with previous seasons, the score was composed by Jeff Russo, and as per usual he did a fantastic job. It’s a little eclectic in its instrumentation, creating a lot of different sounds for different scenes, and I love it, it works so well within the colorful canvas of this show. And the handful of licensed tracks used throughout work quite well too.

All episodes of “Fargo” season 4 were co-written by series creator Noah Hawley, with direction by a whole batch of cool people. And the craft here is just as stellar as before. There’s a lot of energy within the directing, crackling in a way that feels wholly unique to this show. All of it wrapped up wonderfully in some really beautiful cinematography.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8.9/10 and is ranked #36 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While it’s my least favorite iteration of the show so far, season 4 of “Fargo” is still a damn fine season of tv. It has a good story, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Fargo” season 4 is an 8.78/10. So while it is pretty flawed, it is still definitely worth watching.

My review of “Fargo” season 4 is now completed

Is Olyphant gonna get typecast as a marshal for the rest of his career?

12 Films of Christmas (Part 4)

Ho ho holy shit, it’s the fourth fuckin’ part of this god damn series of mine. So let’s get into it.

Are you a bit of a Grinch? Need something with a little less holiday cheer than most other christmas movies? Then “Bad Santa” is for you. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunk, foul-mouthed, horny mall Santa who only does the job so he can pull off a heist at the mall with his partner Marcus (Tony Cox). And one year during their routine heist planning, Willie “befriends” a kid (Brett Kelly), and that complicates things a bit. As you probably gathered from the introduction, this isn’t exactly your typical holiday movie. The main character is a miserable drunkard who steals shit… at christmas time! And for those of us who get a bit tired of the usual “Lalala, christmas and magic and happiness”, it is a perfect thing to mix it up a bit. Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic as Willie, the titular naughty Claus. He gets the foul-mouthed, drunk, pervert character across flawlessly and it makes for something quite unique for a christmas movi. Tony Cox as his partner Marcus is terrific. They play off of each other very well. Brett Kelly is great as this innocent, naive, slightly stupid kid, and his relationship with Willie is a blast to watch. Then we have Lauren Graham as a woman that Willie forms a bit of a relationship with, and there’s something inherently funny about Lorelai Gilmore having a bit fetish for Santa Claus. Then we have the scenes featuring John Ritter and Bernie Mac, both gone way too soon. Seeing these polar opposite characters have a conversation is fucking hilarious and probably the highlights of the movie for me. I seriously miss them both, rest in peace, you awesome people. “Bad Santa” is an incredibly mean-spirited christmas comedy that I highly recommend to every person out there. Grinch, christmas lover? Doesn’t matter! “Bad Santa” is awesome.

What do you think about “Bad Santa”? Do you think we need more cynical holiday movies in our lives? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments, I’d love to know what you think.
Have a good one.

Series Review: Fargo – Season 3 (2017)

It feels good to have had this show back. I loved the first two seasons of this show (*cough* there are reviews available *cough*), so I was of course looking forward to this season. So let’s see if it is any good.

Ladies and gents… “Fargo” season 3!

Minnesota, 2010. We follow brothers Emmitt (Ewan McGregor) and Ray (Ewan McGregor) and how their sibling rivalry becomes the center of a series of deaths, betrayals, conspiracies, and other crazy things. So now we have our off-kilter crime-drama. And yeah, it’s pretty fucking great. Once again this show has managed to craft a deep, compelling, weird, suspenseful, and unpredictable crime story. I honestly never knew where it was going and it managed to really surprise me with some of the twists and turns throughout. It’s an odd and fascinating journey that I loved following.

The characters in this season (like in previous ones) are unique, interesting, quirky, and just extremely entertaining. Ewan McGregor had a tough job here as he had to play two roles, and make them feel different from each other. Emmit is the parking lot king of Minnesota, a wealthy and generally liked businessman. While Ray instead is a balding, poor(ish), parole officer who is jealous of his brother. And McGregor makes them both feel very different and manages to give two fantastic performances. Carrie Coon plays Gloria Burgle, a police chief/single mom who is investigating a murder that might be linked somehow to the Stussy brothers. She’s determined and kind, but has a little trouble with modern technology. And Coon is fantastic in the role. Michael Stuhlbarg (sporting an awesome mustache) plays Sy Feltz, the right hand man and best friend of Emmit. He’s loyal to a fault, wanting to make sure Emmit has a good a life as possible. And Stuhlbarg is great in the role. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Nikki Swango (awesome name), a gambler who is also the girlfriend of Ray. She’s tough, sexy, and just cool. And Winstead is great in the role. David Thewlis plays V.M. Varga, a very strange man that comes into Emmit’s life and starts changing it quite a bit. How do I best describe Varga… he’s weird and creepy and and he gets under my skin. So yeah, Thewlis is fantastic in the role. Really, this is filled with plenty of awesome characters and performances, and while I don’t have the time to go through all in detail, I’m just gonna list some of the awesome supporting players here. Olivia Sandoval, Shea Whigham, Mark Forward, Thomas Mann, Hamish Linklater, Goran Bogdan, Andy Yu, and Mary McDonnell. There are more, but I feel like some are better left as surprises.

The score for this season was composed by Jeff Russo, the man who did the music for the previous seasons. And once again he killed it. Of course the main theme from the previous seasons is played every now and then, still being awesome. But then there’s also a lot of new stuff that fits the show very well. There are tracks for more serious moments, and there are tracks for some of the more “silly” (in lack of a better word) moments. And there are licensed tracks used throughout as well, and they fit pretty well too.

For those not aware (fucking cave dwellers), “Fargo” is an anthology series created by Noah Hawley, based on the Coen brothers film of the same name. And while I’m not gonna list every director that this season had, I will at least say that they all did very well here. The shots look great, and they manage to create a lot of tension with very little thanks to their excellent direction. And the cinematography too is great. Sure, color pallet is a bit drab, but I think it kind of works for this story. They even have a little bit of animation in this to tell a certain part of the story. I’m not gonna spoil what, but let’s just say that it’s pretty cool. I also feel like I have to mention that this is really violent. Not just in terms of there being blood (though there’s that too), but there’s plenty of violence in this. There’s also a good dose of dark humor in this which I thought was quite funny.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 89/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While not qutie reaching the heights of season 2 (which is fucking amazing), “Fargo” season 3 is still a fantastic season of television. It has a fantastic plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing. Time for my final score. *Oh jeez*. My final score for “Fargo” season 3 is a 9,90/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Fargo” season 3 is now completed.

*Please get renewed, please get renewed*.

Movie Review: Burn After Reading (2008)

Spies. Romanticized in movies to the point of it being kind of ridiculous. And sure, we have some of the more low-key spy thrillers out there that aren’t all “Look at me, I’m James Bonding all over Europe, motherfucker”. But sometimes you just need someone or something to take the piss out of the general genre.

Ladies and gents… “Burn After Reading”.

The plot is about a whole bunch of things. But the main one is basically that two gym employees (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) get hold of the memoirs of CIA agent Osborne Cox (John Malkovich). And they then plan to try to sell this intel and soon we have a twisty-turny plot that was pretty good. The plot had a lot of interesting and entertaining moments, but I was never really into it. Now, I know that this is meant to mainly be a comedy taking the piss out of the spy genre, and it does that pretty well, but my heart was never truly into it. I don’t know how to exactly put it, but to try to summarize it… The plot itself was decently interesting and entertaining, but I was never truly into it. I guess it just didn’t invest me as much as other satires have.

The characters in this movie are all very entertaining and memorable. John Malkovich was fantastic as Osborne Cox, this kind of alcoholic CIA agent who’s prone to anger. George Clooney plays US Marshal Harry Pfarrer and he was great in the role. His character was a very twitchy and suspicious/paranoid and a bit ADHD and Clooney did all of that very well. Frances McDormand plaus one of the two gym employees who gets hold of Cox’s memoirs and she’s simply terrific in the role. Brad Pitt played the other gym employee and his character was just kind of an idiot… and he was so fun to watch. The character was very entertaining and Pitt was great in the role. And then we also have Tilda Swinton playing Cox’s wife who also happens to be having an affair with Pfarrer and she was great in the role. She was probably the most serious of the characters in the movie and Swinton gave a great performance. Every actor in the movie does a great job.

The score for the movie was composed by Carter Burwell and it was pretty great. Not only was it well composed, but i would also say that it was a joke in itself. Let me explain. This movie is a comedy, but the music is incredibly serious. We see the stuff happening and we laugh, but the music sounds like something we’d hear in a serious spy movie, and I honestly think it was a deliberate choice by Burwell and the directors. So yeah… it was really good and it worked very well for the movie.

This movie was written and directed by the Coen brothers, and they of course did a great job. The shots look great and the writing is on point as always. Sure, not every line is a punchline, but the dialogue is snappy and fun enough to keep a person entertained. And there’s of course violence in the movie. Sure, it doesn’t happen all the time… in fact, it rarely happens in the movie. But when it happens, it hits hard.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Burn After Reading” is a fun satire of the spy genre. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great writing. However, I am bringing it down a bit because of the plot never truly hooking me into it. Time for my final score. *Grabs envelope*. My final score for “Burn After Reading” is an 8,88/10. So even though it’s flawed, I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Burn After Reading” is now completed.

*Burns envelope*.

 

Movie Review: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

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The movie industry, one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world. It’s given us sooooo many hours of entertainment for such a long time that it’s kind of ridiculous. And not only is it guilty of giving us entertainment, but it’s also the thing that’s given this blog most of it’s content.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hail, Caesar!”.

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a fixer for a big Hollywood studio in the 1950s. As a fixer, his job is to keep problems with actors, directors, and such to a minimum. And soon he gets a bit of a rough time when problems pour in from every possible direction. So what we have here is an odd crime-comedy-thing with a whole bunch of plot threads going on at the same time. And while that stuff can be interesting, I feel like the way it’s handled here is a bit messy. Not saying that any of the plots going on are bad, but it’s just that it’s kind of a fucking mess. I mean, I was constantly interested and entertained, but I feel like it could have been a bit more focused.

The characters are all interesting and very entertaining. I will mention that there are a shit-ton of big name actors in this movie, and instead of spending 50 hours listing them with one comment each, I will simply say that they all did a great job and I’m just gonna list their names. Cool? Cool. *Deep breath*. Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich (First-timer, did a fantastic job), Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Clancy Brown, Alison Pill, Fisher Stevens, Christopher Lambert, David Krumholtz, and more. *Exhale*. God damn, there’s a lot of people in this movie!

The score for the movie was composed by Carter Burwell and it was fun, kind of quirky, and overall well composed. It fit the movie very well. There are even a few songs (as in musical numbers) in this movie performed by the actors, and they are surprisingly good and really catchy.

This movie was directed by the Coen brothers, and I think they did a great job here. There’s energy, there are clever moments, and there’s an overall sense of fun. And the cinematography by Roger Deakins is of course great, as per usual. The humor in this movie is also pretty solid. I’m not saying that every “funny” moment hit, but when it did hit… it hit very well. There’s one scene involving Alden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes in this movie that is really damn funny, it’s most definitely my favorite scene in the entire movie.

This movie has gotten some slightly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10. The movie has also been nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best production design. 

“Hail, Caesar!” is a fun homage to old school cinema. It has some okay plots, good characters, great performances, really good music, great directing, and some really good humor. However it is brought down by the plot being kind of messy. Time for my final score. *ACTION!*. My final score for “Hail, Caesar!” is an 8,87/10. So even if it’s messy, I ‘d still say it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “Hail, Caesar!” is now completed.

Alden Ehrenreich… I trust that you’ll make a good Han Solo (please!).

Mary Elizabeth Winstead joins “Fargo” season 3

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Casting news, something I don’t do unless it is for something that I am genuinely invested in. And since I am writing this, I am of course invested in this shit. So let’s talk about it.

So the talented and beautiful actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, known for “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” and this year’s “10 Cloverfield Lane”, has joined the cast for the third season of “Fargo”. Now, if there’s anybody who’s not aware of what this is… let me get you up to speed, you cave-dweller. “Fargo” is a show from the FX network, created by Noah Hawley and based on the Coen brothers movie of the same name. It’s an anthology series where every season tells a new story with mostly new characters. Got it? Good. So why am I talking about this. Well firstly, Winstead is a very talented actress (who I’ve only seen in those two thigns I mentioned before). And secondly, I love “Fargo”! Some of you might be aware that I have done reviews for the first two seasons (#ShamelessPlug). So I am of course excited to hear about casting news for the upcoming season, especially when it’s about such a talented person joining it. She will apparently be playing a crafty parolee in the new season, so that’ll be interesting since this show has some very colorful characters. Winstead will be joining the already confirmed Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon. While no specific date has been set, the third season of “Fargo” will be premiering at some point in 2017.

So what are your thoughts? Are you excited about Winstead joining the show? And are you a fan of “Fargo”? Leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one!

Series Review: Fargo – Season 2 (2015)

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Some of you people might remember that I had seen and reviewed the first season of this show a while back. If you remember that you probably also remember that I absolutely loved it. So of course I was excited about seeing season 2… and here we are, finally reviewing it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the second season of… “Fargo”.

The year is 1979, that’s right, this season is more or less a prequel to season 1. Like I said in my review of the first season, this is an anthology show. Now that we got that part cleared let’s move on to this season. And in it we follows Minnesota state trooper Lou Solverson (Patrick Wilson) as he is drawn into an investigation involving a local crime gang, the mafia and a local couple (Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst). And it all of course is a huge mystery filled murder, deception and most other things you’d expect from this show if you’ve seen the first season. And there is no reason to either lie about it or postpone it anymore… I think the plot of the second season is great, as good as the first season even. I would even say that I might’ve enjoyed this season even more than the first one. The mystery is bigger and even more bizarre. It’s intriguing, entertaining and really well told.

While the plot is great on it’s own, it would be nothing without the characters, that is a fact that works for most pieces of media. With that said, holy shit the characters are amazing! They are all very interesting, colorful and all get time to shine. Patrick Wilson knocks it out of the park as Lou, which I didn’t have much of a doubt about since I love him as an actor. Ted Danson plays a sheriff and Lou’s father-in-law and he’s as great as ever. Jesse Plemons, you have shown me once again what a terrific actor you are. First “Breaking Bad”, now “Fargo”… I can’t wait to see what awesome thing you’ll do next. Kirsten Dunst, holy shit, this is the best she’s been in years. Jeffrey Donovan plays an unlikable asshole in this show, but that’s okay because his performance overall is terrific. And there are a whole bunch of otehr great actors/performances/characters in this show that I will not get into because I would be here all day. But yeah… it’s all great.

Just like in the first season we got Jeff Russo to do the score for the show. And once again it is great. It manages to create a lot of tension, a lot of suspense, a lot of drama and it is just awesome to listen to. There is also a lot of otehr tunes here that are not composed by Russo. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of licensed tracks and not only do they fit the scenes they are used in, but they are songs that I really enjoyed listening to. As someone who listens to a lot of 70’s/80’s music, this soundtrack was pretty much made for me. Especially in the last few episodes, those had some of the best tunes in show in my opinion. Yeah… this season had great music.

Season 2 takes the directing of season 1 and ramps it up to fuckin’ eleven. It’s quicker, it’s snappier, it’s even more stylish than the first season. It’s also even more violent, good grief. Yes, season 1 was pretty damn violent, but wasn’t this violent. It also didn’t have as much violence and brutality and blood/gore as this season. Not that the extra violence takes away from the show, I would amost say that it is one of the things keeping the show as interesting as it is in combination with the story and characters ‘n’ shit. The pitch black humor also makes a triumphant return in this season and as someone who loves pitch black humor to no end I actually laughed at some pretty dark stuff. No wonder I never get invited to parties…

This season of the show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% (holy shit) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 96/100. And while imdb doesn’t have season-based averages, the show does have a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

The second season of “Fargo” took what season 1 did right and improved upon it. I thought the story was even better, the characters more entertaining/great (though I miss Billy Bob Thornton), the soundtrack absolutely fantastic, teh directing/action fantastic and the violence/humor great. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Fargo” season 2 is a 9,90/10. I love it and it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Fargo” season 2 is now completed.

So… Ewan McGregor next season then!

Movie Review: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

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Folk music, a genre that these days got a pretty mixed reception. Some love it, some hate it and then we have some stuck in the middle type of people. It’s always interesting to know what people think of stuff like that. What are your thoughts? Share ’em in the comments.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us go… “Inside Llewyn Davis”.

It’s the early 1960’s and we follow folk musician Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he deals with all kinds of hardships throughout this week of his life. And I have to say that it was a very interesting and entertaining watch. The stroy really makes you feel for Llewyn as he goes through all of these terrible things. And I don’t mean terrible things in the usual Coen brothers’ sense, but more as in he can’t seem to catch a break. It’s a very personal story that I somehow related to despite not being a shit-out-of-luck musician. It was great.

The characters are all very interesting, entertaining and realistic. Oscar Isaac was absolutely phenomenal as this broken man who’s just trying to make a living through his passion for folk music. After seeing Isaac in this movie and a bunch other over the past two(ish) years I think I am justified in saying that he’s become one of my favorite actors. Anyhow, we have a bunch more great people in this movie. Carey Mulligan (Sidenote: whom Isaac played together with in “Drive”) plays a friend of Llewyn’s and she is terrific in this movie. Justin Timberlake plays her boyfriend and he is also really good in this movie. Then we have a ton of other great supporting actors who I will only mention quickly because otherwise we’d be here all day. *DEEP BREATH*. Adam Driver, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Stark Sands, F. Murray Abraham and a lot more.

Let’s just get this out of the way: If you strongly hate folk music, you’re absolutely gonna hate the soundtrack to this movie. The entire soundtrack is basically folk music. I personally kind of like it. I wouldn’t say that I absolutely lvoe folk music overall, but I do think the songs used in this movie were really good and fit the movie very well. I guess one of the main reasons why I really liked the songs here is because they are terrifically performed by the actors in the movie. Yeah… they do that. Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake,  Adam Driver… they all perform the songs in this movie. Sure, some songs take help from outside sources (such as Marcus Mumford), but for the most part they are performed by the actors in the movie.

Like I said before, this movie was directed by the Coen brothers and as with everything I’ve seen from them, this is very well directed. It’s a little sad though that their regular cinematographer, Roger Deakins, was unavailable at the time. But the guy they got instead still did a fantastic job with it and the movie looks really great and interesting. And as per usual, the Coen’s sharp writing is here and it’s as great as ever. What I do really like about it is not only that it’s quick and witty, but also how it can so easily switch between serious and melancholic to darkly hilarious without fucking everything up. And every piece of dialogue seems so real and genuine which adds to the greatness of it.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 92/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing. 

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a very funny yet dramatic movie featuring a great story, fantastic performances, great music, excellent directing & cinematography and terrific writing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a 9,88/10. That means it msot definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Inside Llewyn Davis” is now completed.

Oscar Isaac, you awesome man.

 

Series Review: Fargo – Season 1 (2014)

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Anthology series, a concept I find very curious. The idea of it is really ingenius; every season features new stories and new characters which gives the writers of the shows a lot of creative freedom when it comes to the show. And it seems a lot of shows these days are embracing that style of stroytelling which makes me curious to see what the next trend in television will be.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first season of… “Fargo”.

Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is a mysterious drifter who one day comes into a small town in Minnesota. Early on during his time there he meets an insurance salesman named Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) and they start getting acquainted. However is seems like Malvo is influencing Lester in a pretty bad way. And by pretty bad way I mean that he influences Lester to murder someone. And from that we also follow two police officers (Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman) who are trying to solve these murders that start occuring. And with that said I will not try to explain anymore of it because that would be delving into spoiler territory and I don’t do spoilers unless there is something specific I want to talk about in something. But I have to say that I was intrigued by the plot in the show and I loved how it developed over the ten episodes that this story covers. We get some good twists and revelations throughout combined with a lot of good suspense and a surprising amount of dark humor. And that mix of things make for an interesting plot to watch unfold.

The characters in the show are all very colorful, quirky, interesting and well written. Martin Freeman nails it as Lester, out reluctant anti-hero. I say “anti-hero” because he does some shady shit and hides some bad secrets in this show. And Freeman does all of that pretty damn well. Billy Bob Thornton was great in the role as mysterious and devious Malvo. It’s so great that he still got it in him to give a great performance like this because he has kind of been off the radar for the past 10(ish) years. Colin Hanks (son of Tom Hanks) is great in the role as police officer Gus Grimly, a man who wants to solve these terrible crimes while also taking care of his daughter. Allison Tolman is amazing in the role as the determined police officer Molly Solverson. Really, she was great… someone I will keep my eye on now. Also, her dad is played by Keith Carradine and that’s just awesome. Eveyr actor does in fact do great work in this show and trust me when I sya that there are a lot of big names in here. Hell, even Key & Peele make appearances in the show (And yes, they are a bucket of fun).

The score for the show was provided by Jeff Russo and holy hell was it ever great. It was heavy and very dramatic but could also be a little lighter when it needed to be. And I have to say that the series main theme (Sidenote: The title of it is “Bemidji, MN”) is honestly one of the best main theme songs I have ever heard. It’s dramatic, it’s dark and it is just straight-up beauitful. The entire score I honestly think is nothing short of great.

Whenever I watched this show I felt cold. Not because it’s dark and depressing like “Requiem For a Dream”, but because they are in the middle of snow-covered Minnesota and it all looks very cold. Sure, it’s kind of the same weather here in Sweden atthe moment of writing this, but it still looks really cold. And I feel like the director(s?) captured it all really well. They captured everything very well because everything in this show is very well directed. Everything’s also really violent. A lot of blood and brutality is shown in the show and I kind of feel like that adds to the charm of it. But I also mention it as a fair warning if you hate violence and/or you get queasy easily… kind of like Bob Odenkirk’s character in the show. The show is also really funny in a very dark way. And I guess that is something the writers of the show did to try to capture the feel of a Coen brothers movie. And for those of you who didn’t understand that reference, this show is based on the Coen brothers movie of the same name and that’s why I said that they seemed like they tried to capture the feel of a Coen movie… A.K.A. darkly comical but still suspenseful.

This show has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 98% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And while imdb.com doesn’t have average scores per season, the show still has a score of 9,0/10 and is ranked #25 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I was surprised by the high quality of this show. The story is great, the characters are great & the acting is great, the music is great, the directing is great and there is a lot of great humor. It’s just a great season. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for season 1 of “Fargo” is a 9,88/10. It most definitely gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of the first season of “Fargo” is now completed.

Oh jeez.

Movie Review: Bad Santa (2003)

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We all remember christmas as a cheerful time to have fun with you family, eat a bunch of great food and of course presents. And as kids we were expecting the presents to be delivered by the one and only… SANTA CLAUS! Of course we learned that Santa didn’t exist and got a little disappointed… presents are still kinda neat though. But as a kid I thought Santa was a kind of cool thing to see. A large kind man with a fluffy beard and a bag full of awesome stuff… how could you not like the guy? Well that is a question we will get answered in the review you see here!

Boys and girls… “Bad Santa”.

Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunken, miserable con man. Every year around christmas he acts as mall Santa. But when everyone has left on christmas eve, he and his partner in crime Marcus (Tony Cox) turns off the alram systems and starts raiding the place. In this movie the main operation is in Florida where the mall is run by Bob Chipeska (John Ritter, R.I.P) and a man named Gin (Bernie Mac, R.I.P). But the entire situation gets a bit more complicated when Willie befriends a little kid (Brett Kelly). Yeah, I think you might understand what might happen. But the movie is still very unconventional with the story being pretty original in a way. “Bad Santa” is by no means a family film and should never be mistaken as such. This movie in it’s story aspect is very dark and very offensive (for a christmas comedy). And that is kind of why I like it because of how dark and weird it can get sometimes. I get that this type of story might not appeal to everyone, but I liked it.

The characters are pretty rounded and well-written. They are given enough to do that they never feel underused or overused. They were all given an appropriate amount of space and good dialogue that they became pretty enjoyable to watch. I would also have to say that the movie got some pretty good performances given the fact that it is a comedy. Most comedies have passable performances, but I would say that “Bad Santa” got some performances I could genuinely call good. Like Billy Bob Thornton, I thought he was great as this drunken mess who also happens to one of the most despicable human beings I have ever witnessed in anything ever… at first. Tony Cox was also pretty good in his role. Overall the characters and acting was above the standards of most comedies.

The soundtrack is something to just Marvel at. You know why? Because it’s made up of practically every fucking christmas song you have heard a thousand fucking times! I’m sorry, just getting a bit mad. Not only because I’ve heard these before a lot but also because I would love to hear some original tunes from this movie. I would also have loved it if they didn’t re-use so many of the same songs in several different scenes. I know it might sound a little bit picky, but I like variety in my music.

One funny thing to note is that while this movie is directed by Terry Zwigoff, it is also co-produced by the Coen Brothers. And when I saw that in the opening credits I had it in the back of my mind the entire movie and I noticed a few of the sort of Coen-isms throughout. Delightfully dark comedy, interesting characters and just the overall feel of the movie. The camera work? It was nothing special. The movie looked pretty good visually, nothing special to it.

This movie was overall received pretty well by critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And finally on imdb.com we find the movie with a score of 7,1/10.

“Bad Santa” is the very definition of bittersweet. It isn’t the most uplifting movie ever and it isn’t the most depressing thing ever. It is something that’ll give you a bit of both. It also got great comedy, good performances, good writing, a “good” soundtrack and just feels pretty cool. So now if Santa could just give me my fucking final score already! HNNNNGGG… There, got it! My final score for “Bad Santa” is an 8,67/10. While it is a bit from perfect, I would still say it’s worth buying.
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Review of “Bad Santa” has been let out of the bag.

Not you typical christmas story, that’s for damn sure. Another thing that is for sure is that soon Santa Claus will be coming to Town.