Series Review: The North Water (2021)

I love British TV. I mean, most countries tend to have good TV, but British programming just has something special about them that makes them infinitely watchable and/or interesting. So with that said, let’s talk about one.

Ladies, gents, and non-binaries… “The North Water”.

The year is 1859. Former army surgeon Patrick Sumner (Jack O’Connell) finds himself taking a job on a whaling ship heading towards the arctic. And we follow him as he deals with working on this ship, struggling not just the elements, but his fellow crewmates as well. What I do find quite interesting about “The North Water” is that it’s not the most plot-driven show. It’s not about a MacGuffin, there’s no real goal to this journey. Instead it’s a dark exploration of how the trauma of a man’s past and present can change you, bring you closer to the darkness. It’s a somber, moody, and often disturbing deep dive into the damaged psyche of Patrick and a few of his fellow crewmates, and I found it absolutely riveting from start to end. The deliberately glacial (HA!) pace may throw some people off, but I personally think it added to the atmosphere, making any suspense and general sense of unease even greater, which helped make for one hell of an engaging narrative.

As I kind of implied, this show is very much more character-driven. And lucky for us, the characters in this are spectacular. All of them clearly damaged in some way, hiding either intentions or their own trauma, which led to me not really knowing who to trust, which adds a lot to the vibe of the show. What also helps is that there’s not a weak link in the cast. Jack O’Connell is fantastic as our lead, Sumner. Colin Farrell is unsettlingly fantastic as the enigmatic Henry Drax. Stephen Graham is terrific as the ship’s captain. And the rest of the cast, contining people like Roland Møller, Sam Spruell, Gary Lamont, Philip Hill-Pearson, Kieran Urquhart, and more, all delivering top notch work.

The score for the show was composed by Tim Hecker, and I think he did a terrific job with it. It’s a low-key, moody, almost horror-esque score, relying heavily rumbling strings, some subtle piano, and even occasional bit of synths to create an unsettling sound that fits really well with the setting and characters. It’s great stuff.

Based on the novel of the same name by Ian McGuire, all episodes of “The North Water” were written and directed by Andrew Haigh, and the man has just absolutely outdone himself. His direction really captures the feeling of helplessness and isolation that one might feel while going on this type of journey, making every moment of the journey feel uneasy. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a regular conversation, a flashback, or a scene of hunting being done, Haigh’s direction is tense and terrific. He also doesn’t shy away from showing us some grisly fucking stuff. The blood and violence in this show is quite disturbing, and at times even quite disgusting, and while I do think it works for the show and adds to the storytelling, I do think it could put some people off. So if you got a weak stomach or you generally just don’t like gruesome content… you have been warned. On a less icky note, the cinematography by Nicolas Bolduc is absolutely spectacular. The angles, the lighting, the colors, it all looks spectacular and works really well to elevate the storytelling even further. This show is just immaculately crafted.

This show’s been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.6/10.

“The North Water” is one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent years. It has a great story, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic direction/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The North Water” is a 9.88/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The North Water” is now completed.

Interesting to think that something so dark and disturbing can come from the same director as the tender and warm “Weekend”.

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses (2011)

The life of the worker has it’s ups and downs. On the one hand, you get money and you have something to do. But on the other hand, getting up in the morning to go to a job you might hate to begrudgingly kiss the ass of a horrible boss… yeah, that’s life.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Horrible Bosses”.

Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are three friends who have something in common: Their respective bosses are fucking horrible. So during one night at the bar they come up with the plan to kill each other’s bosses. And that’s pretty much the plot of the movie. And it’s quite enjoyable. It’s fun seeing these guys going through this journey to do something that a lot of people have thought about doing. It’s really just a simple and fun crime-comedy plot that doesn’t do anything groundbreaking or fantastic, but it is quite enjoyable and I had fun.

The characters in this are interesting and entertaining. Jason Bateman in this plays pretty much the straight man in all of this craziness, basically the character you’d expec Jason Bateman to play. But he does give a good performance and he is pretty funny. Charlie Day in this plays a really dim-witted guy, and he’s quite good at it… funny too. Jason Sudeikis plays the guy who is kind of the middle ground between Bateman and Day, he’s kind of the straight man, but also kind of an idiot. And he was good in the role, he was funny. Kevin Spacey in this plays Bateman’s boss, a total psychopath asshole, and he is great in the role. Jennifer Aniston plays Day’s boss, a woman that is constantly sexually harassing him, and she was really good in the role. Then we have Colin Farrell who plays Sudeikis’ boss, a sleazy cunt of a man… and he was great in the role. We also get a quick cameo performance from Jamie Foxx as a criminal named Motherfucker Jones (best name ever), and he was really good in the role. Overall it’s a well acted movie filled with plenty of talented people.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Lennertz and it was really good. It was pretty much a mix of various genres to create something unique that fit the movie, mixing stuff from rock, jazz, hip hop, and crime movies (if that makes sense), and it all sound great, fitting the movie very well. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that fit very well. So yeah, this movie has some really good music.

This movie was directed by Seth Gordon and I think he did a good job. While not visually unique in any way, it still looks fine and is directed with a good amount of energy to make sure it never feels dull or boring. And since this is a comedy, we should talk about… the comedy. So how is it? It’s funny. Admittedly, not all jokes land, and the ones that do aren’t really gut-bustingly hilarious. But I did laugh at a good amount of the jokes here, even if it wasn’t a “LOL” moment at any point.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Horrible Bosses” is a fun crime-comedy. It has a good plot, great characters, great performances, really good music, good directing, and really fun comedy. My only flaws come from the plot just being kind of there, never being as great as it could be (not judging it dramatically, just saying that it could’ve been a bit better). Also, while I did laugh, I never thought the jokes were hilarious (with some not even landing). Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Horrible Bosses” is an 8,78/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Horrible Bosses” is now completed.

“Motherfucker Jones”… still cracks me up.

Movie Review: Minority Report (2002)

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With sci-fi being as big of a genre as it is I find it very interesting how many different types of movies you can find. You have your typical “Pew pew” sci-fi like “Star Wars”. Then you have the more methodical and realistic/dramatic sci-fi like “Moon” or “Sunshine”. Then we have the kind of sci-fi that falls somehwere inbetween. It is action, but it is also realistic/dramatic. And that is the type of sci-fi we are taking a look at today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Minority Report”.

In the future, crime has been completely eliminated! And by crime I mean murder and by completely I mean in Washington D.C. Let me elaborate; there are these things/people called “Precogs” who can see murders before they even happen. So then it is up to a bunch of police(ish) officers to locate said murder and prevent it. And in this movie you follow Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) who one day gets accused of committing a murder… in the future. So now he is on the run, trying to clear his name and find out what the hell is going on. Okay, so it sounds like a sci-fi version of “The Fugitive” at first, but when you watch it this movie feels very fresh and original in it’s execution. Not only does the story present an interesting chase thriller, but it is also a story of human emotion which director Steven Spielberg is excellent at showing in his movies. The movie also gives us an interesting look at the future that really hasn’t been done before(ish). It is a very thought-provoking movie with a lot of good emotion and thriller elements behind it’s story.

Since this is a Spielberg movie, you know the characters will be really good. That is somethign I really respect about Spielberg, he makes sure his movie are more about the characters rather than the presented theme of the movie (theme of this is sci-fi chase thriller). So I am glad to see that the characters in this movie are as interesting as in his other movie. Tom Cruise is excellent in the lead role as John Anderton. He has to show a lot of emotion but also a lot of authority in his role and he does it perfectly. Colin Farrell also plays in the movie as this snarky/asshole inspector guy, and he’s great. The third actor I wanna go in depth with is Samantha Morton who plays the Precog Agatha. Holy shit, she is amazing in this movie. She shows off as much emotion as you can and she also manages to be emotionless at the same time and I honestly think she was worthy of at least an Oscar nomination because she was amazing. Every actor in the movie was in fact great, they all did a great job.

Like in most Steven Spielberg movies, the score was done by the one and only John Williams who once again blew us away with his amazing talents as a composer. The score is adrenaline pumping, the score is heartfelt, it is suspenseful, it is everything you need for this type of movie. In other words: it is fucking great!

Like i have stated about 40 fucking times already, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and he did a terrific job doing it. His shots look great and he really managed to keep my attention throughout the movie. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski was also pretty fantastic. The combination of Spielberg’s direction and Kaminski’s cinematography gave the movie a unique look that I have never seen in any other movie which gives it a bit of an edge over other sci-fi movies. Also, this movie is apparently based on a story by Philip K. Dick who also did the story for “Blade Runner”. Remember, he only created the story, not the screenplay. And in other news, I should probably go and read some of his books/stories soon.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound Editing.

“Minority Report” is a very original sci-fi movie with a thought-provoking story, excellent performances, fantastic music, fantastic direction and cinematography and some genuine suspense. Time for my final score. *Ahem*… My final score for “Minority Report” is a 9,86/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Minority Report” is completed.

Murder…

 

 

Movie Review: Seven Psychopaths (2012)

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Just so you all know…I love dark comedies. They offer something different. Not your typical sitcom type of humor but something that goes even further. Dark comedy often go on the edge of “sick” or “fucking weird”. And that is kind of why I love that stuff. It often makes me laugh in a way that is neither over-the-top nor sarcastic. These movies are different and that is why I love them. If you remember, I reviewed the movie “In Bruges”. Well that director made another movie…this is that one.

My fellow psychopaths…”Seven Psychopaths”.

Screenwriter Marty (Colin Farrell) is struggling. His problem is that he can’t figure out what type of psychopaths he want for his screenplay/movie “Seven Psychopaths” (Roll credits). His girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) leaves him and his friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) steals mobster Charlie’s (Woody Harrelson) dog. So basically Marty and his new friend Hans (Christopher Walken) gets dragged into Billy’s shit. And through the movie we see how Marty works his script back and forth and what types of psychopaths are in this. Now I am not gonna say more because this story, while simple, is highly entertaining. I am not kidding, you need to go into this movie for the most part blind to get the most enjoyment out of it. Kinda like me. But this movie got some of the most fun things I have ever experienced in the movie. But it is not only funny but also got a few tragic moments here and there. And that mix is something Martin McDonagh is a professional at. Don’t believe me? Go watch “In Bruges” and then come back! But this is still awesome. May not be the most advanced and deep of stories…but it is not always the concept that is the most important…it is the execution. And the execution for “Seven Psychopaths” is fantastic.

Now the characters…they are fucking awesome. Incredibly well-written, incredibly well-acted and just plain hilarious. Sure, some are tragic…but still well-written. The characters are basically the glue of this movie…and the casting of the actors. And I can happily say that everything on that aspect worked out perfectly. Especially Sam Rockwell, I mean, damn! He really stole the show here (Take note I haven’t seen “Moon”). The casting for everyone was fantastic and couldn’t have been better. It jsut kinda felt weird that Woody Harrelson wasn’t as much of a weirdo as I expected him to be…but I am not disappointed. This movie had chracters that I just loved.

The music was really good. It was based as far as I know only on licensed tracks. But these tracks were really good. I have no complaints on them. Moving on!

Like I said before…this movie is really funny. I think I laughed more to this than most comedy-comedies out there…and this is a dark-crime-comedy. And msot of these laughs I have to be honest came from Sam Rockwell…that guy just fucking rocked this movie and stole every scene…not kidding.

The reception for “Seven Psychopaths” has been overall good. Rotten Tomatoes has the score of 83% positive reviews and it has gotten a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic holds the lowest score for this movie out of the big review aggitators with a wopping 66/100. Roger Ebert gave this movie 3,5/4 stars saying something like

“Walken sometimes leans toward self-parody, but here his performance has a delicate, contained strangeness. All of the actors are good, and Farrell wisely allows the showier performances to circle around him. Like any screenwriter — like Tarantino, for example, who is possibly McDonagh’s inspiration here — he brings these people into being and stands back in amazement.”

And finally imdb.com has the score of 7,2/10.

I have given this movie a lot of credit…for good reasons. This movie is awesome. I am giving this movie a score of 9,72/10 and the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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It is hilarious, it got some tragic moments and some really great performances. This movie is really great.

“Seven Psychopaths” is now reviewed.

Four, five six, wait…where is number seve…OH SHIT!

Movie Review: In Bruges (2008)

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British people…I love you guys. You are both awesome and weird at the same time. First, your different dialects sound so odd and just great. My favorite accent from you guys is honestly Scottish. Irish is pretty cool too. You also have a tendency to make really good movies…too bad more than a fistful of them are not the most of them are the most well known. But I guess not all movies can be as popular as “Harry Potter”. And that is a little bit of a shame. But some actually get slightly more known (but never get up to “HP” levels). Today we are taking a look at such a movie. A movie featuring crime, drama and dark humor.

People, movie of today we are taking a look at “In Bruges”.

The story is about the two hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson). They work for a guy named Harry (Ralph Fiennes). They have been assigned to the small belgian town of Bruges. They have been sent there to await orders of their next job/whatever. Ray is not too happy since he thinks the town is a bit of a “shit-hole”. And Ray is kind of guiltstricken after a job earlier that had gone incredibly wrong. He was supposed to just kill a priest, easy as that! Unfortunately he accidentally also blasts the skull of a little boy as well.  But when he meets a young actress named Chloe (Clémence Poésy) he kind of changes his opinion, just because of him striking up a relationship with her. He also befriends an American dwarf named Jimmy (Jordan Prentice). With his new friendship and relationship he gets new appreciation of life which is good since the horrible situation he had been through made him somewhat suicidal. Ken gets the orders from Harry…and they are not good. Ken is not sure if he can carry out the orders since he have found a nice new chance at life in the fairytale like town of Bruges. So the story through the movie is good, but not flawless (not that anything ever is). For example it feels just a tiny bit slow some times. Fortunately, this movie is only 1 hour and 40 minutes long (if you take away the end credits). But the story works good and the comedy in it is dark…but awesome.

So the characters are flawed as all hell…but I honestly don’t mind. These characters are so odd and unique that they just work out for the best of the movie. I especially love the character of Ray since he is just this easygoing guy who doesn’t wanna do too much in life. Also he has an Irish accent, I mean…Who can’t love that!? Also, I have never thought that I would hear Ralph Fiennes (It’s pronounced Ray Fiennes by the way if you didn’t know) say “Fuck” as much as he does in this fucking movie. Wow…who knew Voldemort could curse like a sailor?

The music in this movie is good. It is a mix of ballads, classic music and just a tiny bit of rock. And the songs in this movie are memorable and honestly good, problem is that I don’t remember the name of them. And that honestly makes me sad since I really liked the soundtrack for “In Bruges”. If you find the soundtrack somewhere (Amazon, ebay, anywhere), please let me know!

This movie is honestly filmed so well that it just hightens the quality of it for me. It just looks really great! That is all.

The reception for “In Bruges” was pretty damn good. It got an 82% rating and is certified “Fresh”. It got a Metacritic score of 67/100 which may not be the best but hey, Metacritic usually holds the lowest scores for anything. Roger Ebert really liked the movie, he gave it 4/4 stars. Here is what he said:

“This film debut by the theater writer and director Martin McDonagh is an endlessly surprising, very dark, human comedy, with a plot that cannot be foreseen but only relished.”

It got an imdb rating of 8,0/10. Yet it is not on the Top 250 list. How?

So I have shown my opinions on the aspects of “In Bruges” and have claculated it to the score of 9,51/10. I really liked this movie, it is filled with great preformances and a story that should not be overlooked.

In Bruges is now reviewed.

See you next time.