Series Review: Line of Duty – Season 2 (2014)

Season 1 got reviewed a few weeks back. Time to finally talk about season 2.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Line of Duty” season 2!

When a super secret police convoy get attacked by some masked assailants, Arnott (Martin Compston), Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), and the rest of AC-12 have to look into the possibility of someone within the police leaking the convoy’s route. So now we have our plot set up. And while there was nothing wrong with the first season’s plot, it is nowhere as layered, unpredictable, and electrifying as what they got going on here in the sophomore outing. In the first season they were trying to find the show’s voice, but here in season 2 they found it, and they had a lot of confidence in the storytelling. The way it engages through clever drama and really tight suspense makes for one of the best seasons of television I’ve seen in quite some time.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, and really interesting. Martin Compston returns as Steve Arnott, the young-ish man working with AC-12 to stop corruption. He is given a good amount of development here, making him even more interesting than he was in the first season, while still keeping the determined nature that made him so engaging to begin with. And Compston is great in the role. Vicky McClure returns as Kate Fleming, AC-12’s resident undercover officer. She gets development here through something in the case that I won’t spoil, but it’s an interesting touch. And McClure is great in the role. Adrian Dunbar returns as Ted Hastings, the likable boss of AC-12. He has some personal problems that he deals with while also trying to be involved in the case, which is quite interesting to see. And Dunbar is really good in the role. We also get Keeley Hawes as Lindsay Denton, a woman/member of the police who is one of the prime suspects of the case, and they do some really interesting stuff with her character throughout the season. And Hawes is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Craig Parkinson, Mark Bonnar, Tony Pitts, Sacha Dhawan, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

As with the first season, the score for this was composed by Carly Paradis, and I think that it’s an improvement on the first season’s music. It still has a heavy focus in piano and some strings, but what it improves on is subtlety. Sure, the score is noticeable, but compared to the first season, it never gets overbearing at any point, and just ends up being this emotional powerhouse that makes the show even better than it already was.

The show was created by Jed Mercurio, who also wrote all the episodes here, with direction split between Douglas Mackinnon and Daniel Nettheim. And the craft here is even tighter than in the first season, with plenty more “holy shit” moments throughout, which keeps the show energetic and tense, even in the most subtle and quiet of scenes. A lot of cop shows fail in creating genuine suspense, but season 2 of “Line of Duty” never wavers in that regard.

This show/season has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10 and is ranked #165 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Season 2 of “Line of Duty” takes what was good about the first season and improves on it in every aspect. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Line of Duty” season 2 is a 9,91/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Line of Duty” season 2 is now completed.

I can see now why you Brits keep banging on about this show.

Series Review: Angie Tribeca – Season 1 (2016)

Police work is serious business. Finding killers, stopping drug dealers, preventing further thefts. So it’s interesting when the profession is played around with in film and tv in a more comedic format. We’ve gotten quite a few variations on that throughout the years, and today’s review is of one such thing.

Ladies and gents… “Angie Tribeca” season 1.

Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones) is a tough-as-nails, no nonsense, lone wolf of a police detective in an LAPD precinct. But her whole life will change when she’s assigned a new partner (Hayes MacArthur) who will help her solve some really horrible crimes, like the apparent suicide of several bakers, or the death of a beloved ventriloquist. So now we have our cop comedy (copedy?). And what I like about the plot(s) of this show is that it kind of follows the “Airplane!” mentality of storytelling, in that it doesn’t immediately feel like a comedy until they start involving the jokes and other silly things throughout. It gives it a fun and (in these modern times) refreshing feel that I always loved following. And each case that the team takes on is of course a fun spin on the typical cop formula as well. Good stuff.

The characters in this take some of the established characteristics of serious cop shows and turns them into sillier and slightly more incompetent versions of them. First up we have Rashida Jones as Angie Tribeca, who respresents the typical “I had a partner, and now I don’t want a partner” badass who might learn to warm up to a new partner. She’s a good cop, but can be a bit impulsive form time to time. And Jones is great in the role. Then we have Hayes MacArthur as Jay Geils, Angie’s new partner in crime-solving. He shows a decent amount of deductive reasoning, but he is also not the smartest tool in the shed. And MacArthur is great in the role. Next up we have Jere Burns as Chet Atkins, Angie’s and Jay’s lieutenant. He’s loud and a bit stuck up, but ultimately cares about his precinct and is often involved in operations. And Burns is great in the role. Then we have Andree Vermeulen as Monica, a medical examiner who works at the precinct. She’s smart and is probably the one who is the best at actually doing her job at this precinct. And Vermeulen is really good in the role. Then we have Deon Cole as Tanner, another detective from the precinct. He’s a little harder to pin down as a character, but he is an enjoyable character who gets some good moments throughout. And Cole is really good in the role. And finally we have detective David Hoffman, played by Jagger… a german shepherd. Yes. One of the main players is a dog. And there’s a really funny recurring joke about him throughout that I will not spoil. But I can safely say that Jagger is a good boy. Then you get tons of great supporting work throughout from people like Alfred Molina (who might be my favorite in the show), Lisa Kudrow, Gary Cole, John Michael Higgins, and so many more. A lot of talented people in this.

The score for “Angie Tribeca” was composed by Jim Latham, and I think it was really good. Kind of like I mentioned with the plot, the music takes a sort of “Airplane!” approach where it’s done like it’s not in on the joke, and has a fairly serious sound, which adds to the absurdity of the entire thing, which improves on a lot of scenes throughout.

The show was created by Steve Carell and his wife Nancy, and written/directed by them (and various other people). And they’ve created something really fun here. It’s mostly shot like a relatively serious show (again, kind of like “Airplane!”), but it’s filled with a lot of gags. Speaking of which, the comedy in this copedy (I am gonna start using that term from now on) is absolutely hilarious. I’d say that it’s a mix of “Naked Gun” and “Hot Fuzz”. It can be extremely silly (“Naked Gun”) and it can be snappy and self-award (“Hot Fuzz”), while still feeling like it’s own thing. I don’t think there’s any joke in this that I found bad. I always laughed, whether through a small chuckle or a gut-busting laughter. It’s so much fun.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

Season 1 of “Angie Tribeca” is the type of silliness that we don’t really get much of these days, so I find the show quite refreshing. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, good music, good directing, and fantastic comedy. Time for my final score. *FREEZE!*. My final score for season 1 of “Angie Tribeca” is a 9,84/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Angie Tribeca” season 1 is now completed.

Sometimes you just need a good laugh.

Movie Review: The Next Three Days (2010)

What would you be willing to do if a loved one was falsely imprisoned? How far would you go to get him/her out? Ponder this as you read this review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Next Three Days”.

After his wife (Elizabeth Banks) gets arrested for a murder she didn’t commit, John Brennan (Russell Crowe) aims to do anything in his power to get her out. so now we have our little drama-thriller. And is this plot any good? Kind of. The idea itself is pretty interesting (if unoriginal), and there are some solid dramatic moments throughout that made me feel really invested in the story, but the plot does have some issues. For one, there are a whole load of implausibilities in this movie, situations where the outcome makes no fucking sense. And the pacing at times isn’t very good. Both of these problems drag the plot down quite a bit, but not enough to make me think that it’s total shit. Just that it could be better.

The characters here are good. There are none that I feel are bad, but not everyone gets the same amount of development. Russell Crowe plays John Brennan, the man at the center of this story. Over the movie you seem him go from the average, loving, family man to something else due to this whole crazy situation with his wife. It’s an interesting character journey. And Crowe gives a really good performance. Elizabeth Banks plays Lara, John’s wife and the woman who gets falsely imprisoned. I’m not gonna say too much about her development, as that’s best left experienced rather than explained. But I can say that Banks is great in the role. Then you have Ty Simpkins as Luke, the young son of John and Lara. Sure, he doesn’t get that much development here, but he still works pretty well among the characters. And for someone so young, I thought Simpkins did a really good job in the role. Then we have Lennie James as a cop who gets involved with all this. Again, not that much development there, but his characters still works very well within the plot here. And James is really good in the role. Then you get a bunch of really solid supporting performances from people like Olivia Wilde, Daniel Stern, Jason Beghe, Aisha Hinds, Liam Neeson, and more. It’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Elfman, and it is quite good. It’s emotional, tense, and overall well composed. Sure, it’s not necessarily one of Elfman’s best, but it’s certainly really good. The movie also uses a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout, with Moby being the most frequent artist used throughout. And all the tracks work pretty well for the movie to elevate their respective scenes slightly. Good music.

This movie was written and directed by Paul Haggis, and is apparently a remake of a French movie called “Pour Elle”. Now, I haven’t seen that French original, so I don’t know how accurately this represents it, but as a movie on it’s own I think Haggis did a good job. The movie is pretty well shot and everything has a pretty nice flow to it in general. He even manages to create some half-decent tension in some scenes throughout.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 51% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

While it’s not anything truly great, “The Next Three Days” is still an enjoyable drama-thriller. It has an okay plot, okay characters, great performances, really good music, and good directing. As for flaws, there are points in the plot where it’s a bit implausible, and the pacing is a bit draggy at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Next Three Days” is an 8,11/10. While flawed, it’s still definitely worth a rental.

My review of “The Next Three Days” is now completed.

This is the third movie in a row I’ve watched/reviewed where Jonathan Tucker has popped up. It’s like that guy is following me everywhere… and it’s a bit eerie.

Movie Review: Mean Dreams (2017)

Some people are bad. Some are good. Some are in a grey area between the two. Overall, there are many shades of human. Very few are all good or all bad.

Ladies and gents… “Mean Dreams”.

After he steals a bag of drug money, Jonas (Josh Wiggins) grabs the girl he loves (Sophie Nélisse) and goes on the run. This causes a corrupt cop (Bill Paxton, R.I.P) to pursue them. So now we have our coming of age drama. And it’s actually pretty damn good. Yes, there are some familiar as hell elements to it, and there are moments where it kind of drags, but neither of those are bad enough to take away from this otherwise tense and dramatic plot. It takes it’s time really exploring it’s themes of first love and desperation of life on the run, and it’s quite engaging. It’s a solid plot.

The characters here are layered, fleshed out, and really interesting. Josh Wiggins plays Jonas, the farm boy who steals the drug money, which causes the plot to happen. He’s courageous and driven, never hesitating to step up to protect the one he loves. But they also show how hesitant he can be and do everything to make him feel real. And Wiggins is great in the role. Sophie Nélisse plays Casey, the young woman that Jonas goes on the run with. She’s a tough and determined young woman who also does show her more vulnerable sides at times, making her feel a bit more human. And Nélisse is really good in the role. Then we have the incomparable Bill Paxton (may he rest in peace) as Wayne, the corrupt cop out on the hunt for our young lovers. He is a dirty, crooked, and bad cop, but he does show a more human side at certain points in the movie, making him feel less one-dimensional and more realistic. And Paxton is of course fantastic in the role. Then we have Colm Feore as a police chief that we run into throughout the movie. And I don’t want to say much more about him since I think his stuff is more interesting learning about. But I can at least say that Feore is really good in the role. Really, every actor in this movie does a solid job.

The score for the movie was composed by Ryan Lott and I think he did a really good job with that. The score is weird, eerie, emotional, and just worked very well for the movie. It really helped create a hopeful yet uneasy feel for the movie. ’tis good.

the movie was directed by Nathan Morlando and I think he did a great job. His directing is smooth and and confident, while still managing to get in a fair amount of tension throughout. It’s tight and makes you feel uneasy, while still keeping you focused and invested in the story of the two lovers. And the cinematography by Steve Cosens is great, there’s plenty of awesome shots throughout this movie.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10.

“Mean Dreams” isn’t perfect, but it’s still a damn fine little movie. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mean Dreams” is a 9,59/10. This means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mean Dreams” is now completed.

I miss Bill Paxton.

Series Review: Bosch – Season 2 (2016)

A long time ago (October 2015) I reviewed the first season of this show, and I liked it a lot. So naturally I was excited to see a second season… which didn’t air here until this year. And I know that you will mention that I could simply stream it last year on Amazon, but this is a show I watched on TV with my parents, and I didn’t wanna break that for season 2. So I patiently waited and it finally came out here weeks ago. And a day or so ago the season finale aired. So, let’s just get into it and see if this follow-up is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Bosch” season 2.

Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) is called back into active duty after a six month absence to investigate the murder of a pornographer. And as Harry, with his partner Jerry (Jamie Hector), investigates this case they find that this guy might’ve had ties to the mob. And as the two continue investigating, they find that this case is a lot more complicated than it might’ve seemed at first glance. So now we have our gritty cop drama. And while this season admittedly lacks some of the tense unpredictability of the first, it’s still a well constructed plot filled with twists, turns, engaging drama, and intrigue. In a world filled with cop dramas, “Bosch” and it’s plot stands out.

The characters here are layered, entertaining, and interesting. Titus Welliver returns as Detective Harry Bosch, the eponymous cop with a less than shiny past. He’s not necessarily a “bad” cop, but he is a bit rough around the edges. We get to see a more vulnerable and emotional side to Harry this season as he learns more about what happened to his mother, and also because of some other stuff that I won’t spoil here. But he’s a really interesting character, and Welliver is great in the role. Jamie Hector is back as Jerry Edgar, Bosch’s partner. He’s funny, he’s cool, he’s interesting, and he’s a good counterpoint to Bosch. And Hector is great in the role. Amy Aquino returns as Grace Billets, Bosch’s friend and superior. She’s still the tough yet charming and lovable woman we got to know in season 1. And Aquino is great in the role. Lance Reddick returns as Irvin Irving (actual name), the highly ranked police that Bosch often works for/with. And without saying too much, he goes through a pretty interesting and even emotional arc this season that made me care a bit more for him. And Reddick is great in the role. Then we have Sarah Clarke and Madison Lintz returning as Bosch’s ex-wife and daughter respectively. And they add some interesting dramatic weight to the season that I won’t go into. But both actresses do a really good job here. Now for newer people worth talking about. We get Jeri Ryan as the widow of the dead pornographer. And she’s an interesting character that gets to go through some stuff this season. And Ryan is great in the role. Then we have Brent Sexton as a security guard that Bosch gets to know through the season, and he gets some interesting things to do here. And Sexton is great in the role. Then in a couple more supporting roles throughout we get actors like Robbie Jones, James Ransone, Matthew Lillard, John Marshall Jones, and more… all doing a great fucking job.

Jesse Voccia returned to do the score for this season, and he once again did a great job. The score is tense, exciting, emotional, and just overall works very well for the show in general, at a lot of times elevating certain scenes. Then there are some licensed tracks used throughout and they work pretty well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, and is based on Connelly’s book series about Bosch. And it was written/directed by a whole bunch of people. And I think they did a great job. This world/show feels fully realized, and they make it feel interesting. The directing here is great, often adding tension and/or energy to a lot of scenes, making sure it never feels dull. The action scenes in this show too are pretty exciting. They don’t do anything unique, but they’re done well enough and they have enough tension so that you can’t help but sit and enjoy them. The first season’s sly and dark sense of humor is back, and it’s just as enjoyable.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,3/10.

Season 2 of “Bosch” is a great follow-up to the great first season. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Bosch” season 2 is a 9,82/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

As far as modern cop shows go, “Bosch” is one of the best.

Movie Review: Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Murder is bad. Don’t do it.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “Texas Killing Fields”.

Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Mike Souder (Sam Worthington) are a pair of detectives investigating a series of unsolved murders in Texas. So we follow them as they try to untangle this web of who and why. So now we have our crime-drama. And is the plot here any good? The premise is actually quite intriguing, but the execution is quite average. It’s not bad, with the initial setup being good and some pretty solid moments being spread throughout, but overall it doesn’t do a whole lot to stand out from other thrillers out there. I can say though that I wasn’t ever bored… I just never found myself fully invested in the story of this movie. It’s just… fine.

The characters here are surprisingly layered and interesting. Sure, they’re not the deepest ponds in the county, but I was genuinely surprised at how interested I was in them. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Brian Heigh, a New York detective who had been transferred down to Texas to work with them. He’s a tough but caring man, being what you’d probably call “good cop” in an interrogation. And Morgan is great in the role. Sam Worthington plays Mike Souder, a local Texas cop who is Heigh’s partner in this investigation. He’s a bit of a short-fused asshole, and the “bad cop” of the two. And I have to say that Worthington was good in the role. The two also share some okay chemistry, not Riggs & Murtaugh levels of chemistry, but they do work pretty well together. Jessica Chastain plays another detective in this movie, though working in a different precinct, and she’s really good in the role. Chloë Grace Moretz plays a young girl named Ann. She’s neglected by her mom and she in general doesn’t seem to have a great life. But she’s pretty interesting and Moretz is really good in the role. You also get some solid supporting performances from people like Jason Clarke, Annabeth Gish, Sheryl Lee, and Stephen Graham. So yeah, this is a well acted movie.

The score was composed by Dickon Hinchliffe and I have mixed feelings about it. There are tracks in it that are very atmospheric, adding to the scenes they’re used in, perfectly fitting the setting. Then there are also tracks that feel out of place, sounding like something you’d hear in an episode of “Justified”. And while that isn’t an inherently bad thing, it just sounds a bit off in this movie. I’ll at least give the score this: It heavily features acoustic guitar, which is something I always enjoy hearing. But yeah, overall the score here is… mixed.

This movie was directed by Ami Canaan Mann, daughter of Michael Mann. And I think she did a pretty good job here. There’s a good amount of solid camera work here, and some overall neat visuals at times. There are also a couple of mediocrely directed moments, mainly stuff that is shot in the dark where you can’t see shit. But for the most part this movie is well directed. There are also like two, small-ish action scenes in the movie and they were okay, not great, not bad. Mann even man(n)ages to get some pretty good suspense out of a couple of scenes in the movie, which is something I didn’t exactly expect. So the directing here is good. Still, I’m a little bit disappointed, mainly because Danny Boyle was supposed to direct it at one point but then dropped out. Oh well, c’est la vie. Good job, Mann.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 49/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

While “Texas Killing Fields” isn’t a great movie, it’s still a pretty solid rainy day thriller. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, good music, and good directing. Flaws with the movie are that the plot is just fine, and the music being a bit off at times. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Texas Killing Fields” is a 6,99/10. So while quite flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Texas Killing Fields” is now completed.

Loosely based on real events.

Movie Review: Filth (2013)

I honestly don’t know what to say here. I can usually write something that somehow relates back to the movie. Problem is that this movie is so… itself. It doesn’t have any aspect that I can focus on for the intro, and that’s rare for a movie. Well done, you filthy fuck.

Ladies and gents… “Filth”.

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is a Detective Sergeant in Scotland. He’s looking to get a promotion, and he’s willing to manipulate anybody to get it. So we follow his misadventures as he tries to get this promotion while also battling with a lot of his inner demons. So now we have our plot. And I’d say that it’s quite an interesting one. Seeing the journey of this horrible man is both fascinating and entertaining as he’s not your typical protagonist, but also because it takes some really interesting turns throughout. My only complaint about the plot is that it at one point makes quite a drastic change in tone. It goes from fun and really dark comedy into a really serious and harrowing drama. Now, I actually kind of understand why the filmmakers did that, it’s just that the change in tone felt a little bit sudden and took me out of the story a bit. Overall the plot was really solid, but was brought down a bit for me with that shift in tone.

The characters in this thing are all kind of troubled and flawed, but that’s also what makes them interesting and quite entertaining. Bruce Robertson is one of the most corrupt asshole cops that I’ve ever seen on a screen. He’s foul-mouthed, a junkie, a bigot, he basically just ticks all the boxes for “total fucking asshole”. But he does also battle a lot of demons, which makes him a more compelling character. And James McAvoy is fantastic in the role, giving a fearless and incredibly layered performance. Jamie Bell plays one of his colleagues who’s pretty much the rookie of the gang, and he’s also mildly corrupt, but not as much as Robertson. And Bell is great in the role. Imogen Poots plays another one of Robertson’s colleagues, and she’s probably the least corrupt of them all. And Poots is great in the role. Eddie Marsan plays Robertson’s dorky friend who gets brought along on some of Robertson’s misadventures. And Marsan is great in the role. John Sessions plays Robertson’s superior office, and he’s great in the role. Really, it is overall a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Clint Mansell and it’s really good. It’s dark, dramatic, funny, and just overall well composed, fitting the movie very well. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout, and they were all very well implemented into the movie. So yeah, there’s some really good music here.

This movie was directed by Jon S. Baird and was based on a novel by Irvine Welsh (you know, the “Trainspotting” guy, which explains a lot about “Filth”). Now, I haven’t read the book, but I’d still say that Baird did a really good job bringing it to the screen. His directing is very tight and made me feel a bit uneasy from first frame. It’s a filthy world that this movie explores, and that is conveyed very well by Baird’s directing. There’s also a lot of comedy in this movie and I found it quite funny… that said, the comedy here is quite dark, which some people might not be very fond of. But it made me laugh, and that’s the important part here. I should also mention that this movie is filled with cursing, graphic sex/nudity, drug use, and even some violence. So if you’re a prude and can’t handle that stuff… consider yourself warned.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 64% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Filth” certainly isn’t for everybody, but I found it to be a really solid movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing. My flaw with it came from the aforementioned tonal shift. Time for my final score. *A-fucking-hem!*. My final score for “Filth” is an 8,98/10. So while it is flawed, I’d say that it is wroth buying.

My review of “Filth” is now completed.

McAvoy is one of the most underrated actors ever.

Movie Review: Magnum Force (1973)

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?!

Ladies and gents… “Magnum Force”.

Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) is back to solve crimes. This time he is trying to find and stop a group of vigilantes who are killing a bunch of less than desirable people in San Francisco. So now we have our “Dirty Harry” adventure set up. And it’s actually a good plot. It’s simple and straightforward without being dumb. Sure, it’s not particularly deep or engaging, but it’s not a bad plot at all. As a matter of fact, I kind of love the premise of it, it’s just that it isn’t as engaging as it could be. So overall the plot here is pretty good.

The characters here are fine, nothing special. Clint Eastwood of course plays everybody’s favorite San Francisco badass, Harry fucking Callahan. And yeah, he’s just as gruff and tough as in “Dirty Harry”, and Eastwood gives his typical Eastwood-y performance here (which I’m a fan of). Hal Holbrook plays the police lieutenant that Harry constantly butts heads with, and he’s great in the role. Felton Perry plays Harry’s partner, Earlington “Early” Smith, and he’s good in the role. Then we get supporting performances from people like Mitchell Ryan, Robert Urich, David Soul, Tim Matheson, and Kip Niven, all doing fine here.

The score for the movie was composed by Lalo Schifrin and it was good. It was very much a product of it’s era, but I do think it worked for the movie, being overall well composed and slightly elevating certain scenes. Though I do wonder about that theme song… I don’t have any specific questions, it’s just weird to me.

Unlike the first movie, “Magnum Force” wasn’t directed by Don Siegel. Directorial duties instead went over to Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the 1968 western “Hang ‘Em High”. And I think he did a really good job here. His directing is tight and pretty tense. The shots also look really good, with some fancy camera tricks being used at several points in the movie. The action scenes in this are also quite good. They’re fun, badass, and entertaining as hell. Sure, they’re not the most memorable, but they’re definitely fun to watch.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Magnum Force” is a solid follow-up to the awesome first movie. It has a good plot, okay characters, really good performances, good music, and really good directing. The main flaw with it is that the plot isn’t as engaging as it could be. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Magnum Force” is an 8,88/10. So while the movie is flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Magnum Force” is now completed.

A man’s got to know his limitations.

Series Review: Comrade Detective – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t know what kind of intro to make for this. Just the idea and existence of this is a riddle to me. So let’s just get into the review and see if this is any good.

Comrades… “Comrade Detective” season 1.

“Comrade Detective” is set in 1983 and is about Romanian police detective Gregor Anghel (Channing Tatum/Florin Piersic Jr.), a man sworn to stop crime and uphold the communist way of life. But tragedy strikes as his partner one day gets killed during an operation to catch some bad dudes. So Anghel, together with a new partner named Iosif Bacio (Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Corneliu Ulici), starts investigating the case of his former partner’s murder. And as they keep investigating they stumble upon a conspiracy that could endanger not only them, but also their communist way of life. So now we have this weird thing. But it’s not just a cop show randomly set in 1980s Romania, as it’s actually kind of a metanarrative. The show is presented as this really old communist propaganda show that had seemingly been lost forever, until it was found and then dubbed by Americans. So we’re working with a metanarrative cop drama that is also a satire of society and capitalism/communism. Yeah, it’s weird. That said, I found it to quite an interesting narrative. The cop side of things, while not always the most engaging, is actually fairly solid, filled with twists and turns. Then you have the satirical elements of it which adds a bit of a fun edge to it. Then you also have the dubbed aspect of it which is just a fun idea to add to it. So yeah, the plot here is… good.

What is interesting about this whole thing is that on the screen we see some actors, but the voices that come out of their mouths are clearly dubbed over, like in ye olde foreign films. Poorly dubbed with no sync between voice and mouth, which is clearly deliberate and also quite fun. So when you have Florin Piersic Jr. moving around and “talking”, you hear the voice of Channing Tatum come out of him. It’s a little weird at first, but I quickly got used to it and thought it was fun. And Tatum delivered his lines very well, and Piersic Jr. did well with the physical parts. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voiced the partner, Baciu, and he did very well. And Corneliu Ulici was good in the physical role. I don’t have the patience to write down every pairing and giving comments here, so I will just list some of the voice actors you hear in the show, but I will list the physical actors in the tags so I don’t get shit on too much. *Inhale* Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Chloë Sevigny, Jake Johnson, John DiMaggio, Bobby Cannavale, Beck Bennett, Daniel Craig. There are more, but again… I don’t have the time or patience to write every single one. That said, it’s a well acted show.

The score for the show was composed by Joe Kraemer and he did a pretty good job. Some of it is the typical cop drama stuff, which is fine because it works well within the show. There is also some synth pop in here too, because of course there will be synth pop in a show set in the 80s. And alls the music in this show works very well for it.

This show was created by Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka, with the directing being done by Rhys Thomas, who I think did a good job. Nothing feels overly flashy or too current (for lack of a better word). It feels like an 80s cop show, only shot with better cameras. The period detail and directing style is what makes it feels genuinely 1980s. It is a well directed show that flows pretty well. The action scenes especially, they’re quite fun.

This show has been pretty well received (based on few reviews). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Amazon’s “Comrade Detective” is fucking weird, and I’m okay with that. It has a good plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. The only flaw I have with it is that the plot wasn’t always the most engaging. Time for my final score. *Comrades*. My final score for “Comrade Detective” is an 8,88/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is worth watching.

My review of “Comrade Detective” is now completed.

I have questions… I don’t know what questions, but I have them.

Movie Review: Street Kings (2008)

I’m all for the police. They’re needed to uphold the law. But then we have some cases of corruption within the department, which makes some people blame the police in it’s entirety, which I think is unfair. Just because you find one spoiled apple in a bunch, do you throw away all of them? If you are, then you’re wasting a bunch of perfectly good apples, you fucking dick. Point is, don’t blame everyone… just the individual.

Ladies and gents… “Street Kings”.

Detective Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) isn’t really what you’d call a good cop, as his methods for taking bad guys down are usually a bit… extreme. And when an old partner of his gets killed, he goes on a quest to find the assholes who did it. And to do this he teams up with a young and less corrupt cop named Diskant (Chris Evans). So now we have a gritty cop story about corruption and death and cover-ups and revenge and such. And is this plot good? Eh. I see a lot of potential in this story, and at times it grasps for the greatness… but doesn’t quite reach it. It feels like they just kind of skimmed the surface of this plot, not quite getting there. Maybe it’s the runtime/pacing? It’s only about an hour and fortyfive minutes long, and it never really takes a break to develop the plot or let moments actually simmer and have any effect. I could definitely see this as a show on HBO or Netflix where it could get some time to develop. But overall it is… fine.

The characters here are for the most part just a bunch of unlikable assholes… so it’s hard to get invested when you don’t really like any of them. They’re not even really that interesting, they’re just… unlikable assholes. Keanu Reeves in this… I usually love Keanu, but here he is one of those previously mentioned unlikable assholes. Though I’ll say this, he gives a really good performance here. Forest Whitaker plays Keanu’s boss in this, and he’s probably one of the more likable characters in this, even if he is a bit of a shady dick. His performance is great though. Chris Evans in this plays one of the less shady cops in this, and he’s also not a total dick, so that’s great. And he gives a really good performance here. Hugh Laurie plays the captain of internal affairs in this, and he is great here. Jay Mohr (first time he’s mentioned on the blog… weird) plays one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also kind of a dick… and he gives a good performance. Amaury Nolasco plays another one of Keanu’s colleagues, and he’s also a dick in this… and he gives a pretty good performance. Then there’s a bunch of good supporting performances in the movie too, including from Naomie Harris, Common, Terry Crews, John Corbett, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Graeme Revell and it was pretty good. It was serious and gritty, fitting the urban style of the movie. Really, there isn’t a lot to say about it. It’s not very original, and it’s not very memorable. It’s just some okay music that worked pretty well for the movie.

This movie was directed by Daivd Ayer and I think he did a pretty good job. While the movie isn’t visually unique, it does actually look good. His direction has (in lack of a better word) grit to it, really capturing the dangerous and unpredictable feel of this world. And the action scenes in this movie are good. They’re badass, brutal, and pretty exciting. Definitely the highlight(s) of the movie.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 36% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

Despite the great idea it presents, “Street Kings” is quite shallow and becomes just… fine. It has an okay plot, meh characters, great performances, okay music, and really good directing. As previously mentioned, my flaws with it comes from the plot not being great and the characters being unlikable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Street Kings” is a 6,98/10. So while flawed, it’s worth renting.

My review of “Street Kings” is now completed.

Who’s coming with me to reboot this as a show?