Series Review: Line of Duty – Season 6 (2021)

Anyone who’s followed this blog for an extended amount of time knows what a big fan of this show I am. So obviously I was quite excited that it had returned this year, despite delays due to covid. And now I’ve finally watched through this latest season, I’m ready to share my mad ramblings about it.

Fellas, ma’ams, and bent coppers… “Line of Duty” season 6.

Following in the murder of a journalist,  AC-12 get tasked with looking into DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) and her potential mishandling surrounding the situation. Meanwhile we see Steve (Martin Compston), Kate (Vicky McClure), and Ted (Adrian Dunbar) are dealing with the consequences of the previous season. So season 6 is not only acting as a new case for our favorite anti-corruption officers, but it’s also attempting to address what’s come before as well as try to tie the bow on a lot of the threads set up throughout the show. It basically acts as a full on final act for the entire show. And I honestly found the narrative in this season to be really solid… with a few caveats. To be quite honest, I wasn’t a giant fan of the first two episode. They weren’t bad per se, as far as overall quality goes, they’re good. But something about them didn’t quite hook me as much as I expected. Previous seasons could have me clutching my legs almost immediately, or by the end of episode 1 at the latest. Here it took until episode 3 for my body to even feel the tingle of suspense. But when that point hits it just gets better and better, and it finally feels like we’re sucking diesel. And without getting into spoilers, let’s talk about the controversial final episode for two seconds… I don’t mind it. I feel like the revelations and events within it, while not exactly what I expected or had in mind, fits quite well for the show and ultimately serves as a very thought-provoking and logical end to this saga.

The characters, both new and old, this season remain as unique, flawed, complex, and interesting as always. Steve, Kate, and Ted’s bond has morphed a little bit since the end of last season in ways that are interesting, and it makes for some excellent bits of interaction and character development throughout. And I think I don’t need to say much about Compston, McClure, and Dunbar who are all as terrific as always. Then there’s series newcomer Kelly Macdonald as Jo Davidson, the DCI under investigation from AC-12 this season. She’s a decently interesting character whose development I enjoyed following throughout this season, with Macdonald being really good in the role. We also get supporting work from people like Perry Fitzpatrick, Nigel Boyle, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Tommy Jessop, Gregory Piper, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

As with previous seasons, the score was composed by Carly Paradis, and as with those aforementioned seasons, she did an excellent job. Tense, emotional, and exciting, her score is just great.

Season 6 of “Line of Duty” was completely written by series creator Jed Mercurio, with direction of the seven episodes split between Daniel Nettheim, Jennie Darnell, and Gareth Bryn. And I don’t know what to say here that I haven’t rambled about before in my other reviews, the craft here is superb, finding a nice balance between looking really sleek and still retaining a lot of grit throughout. And while it takes a bit to get genuinely suspenseful for me, when it actually does, it is really fucking tense. Yeah, I got nothing new to add here.

This show/season has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. And on imdb.com the show has a score of 8.7/10 and is ranked #106 on their “Top 250 TV shows” list.

While the first two episodes are a little less engaging than I would’ve liked, there’s no denying that the sixth (and potentially final) season of “Line of Duty” ends up being another tense, exciting, and highly watchable run of AC-12’s antics. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 6 of “Line of Duty” is an 8.94/10. So while that slow start does hurt it a little, I’d still definitely say that it’s worth watching.

My review of “Line of Duty” season 6 is now completed.

If this is indeed the last we’ll see of this show, then I must say that it’s been great following it and I’m gonna miss having it around.

Movie Review: T2 Trainspotting (2017)

Choose life. Choose blogging. Choose being late talking about the sequel to a Scottish cult hit from the 90s. Choose moving on to the review.

Ladies and gents… “T2 Trainspotting”.

20 years after the events of “Trainspotting”, Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland to try to find and reconcile with his old friends. So now we have the premise for the plot. Really, the basic idea is that simple, but it’s the overall execution that is a lot more layered than that. Kind of like the first movie, it’s not so much a plot with a typical beginning-middle-end structure, but it’s more just the characters doing things. The only real overarching part of the plot is how they all have issues to work out in various ways. And I think that works for these movies, it gives them a unique style. It’s more about miserable people and their miserable lives, rather than a hero having to save the day. My only flaw with the movie is that it doesn’t feel quite as uncomfortably unpredictable the first, but this is a gripe so small that it doesn’t ruin it all for me. Just don’t think it’s as great as the first movie. Though it’s still pretty great.

The characters here are all (for the most part) horrible people, but they’re so well written that it works. Ewan McGregor is back as Renton, and he’s got some things to work out in his life. Seeing Renton’s journey to try to reconcile with his friends is really interesting, and as we go through the movie we can tell that his life isn’t as great as he tries to make it seem. And McGregor is of course great in the role. Ewen Bremner returns as Spud, the most sympathetic and possibly most tragic of all the characters. He’s always been a bit of an unlucky loser, and in this movie it still mostly rings true. But he’s fun, and I cared about him. And Bremner is great in the role. Jonny Lee Miller returns as Sick Boy (now going by Simon), a very bitter man that feels a lot of resentment towards his old friend. He’s a scheming jerk, but I still at times found myself caring about him. And Miller is great in the role. Then we have Robert Carlyle back as Francis Begbie, a very angry psychopath who wants to kill Renton for what he did to him 20 years ago. He’s just as angry, foul-mouthed, murderous, and intense as in the first movie… potentially even more now that I think about it. What is a bit surprising is that he does have a little bit of an arc here that is kind of compelling… sort of. And Carlyle is just amazing in the role. Then we have a newcomer in the form of Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika, girlfriend of Sick boy. She’s good at heart, but has a bit of a dark side (who doesn’t in this fucked up universe). And Nedyalkova is great in the role. Really, there are no bad performances here.

Like in the first one, “T2” has no actual score composed for it. Instead it’s a soundtrack featuring all kinds of songs. From remixes of tracks from the first, to newer songs. And while I personally wouldn’t listen to several of the tracks during my free time, I think all tracks work wonderfully within their respective scenes and help give the movie it’s identity.

Danny Boyle returned to direct this sequel to his classic movie. And what I like about the directing/editing here is that it retains the unique style of “Trainspotting” while also showing off the improved talents of Danny Boyle. It’s a great mix of new and old. Combining the clever camerawork with slick editing gives it such a unique and engaging style that I can’t help but love. The first movie’s signature dark humor is also back and it’s just as awkwardly hilarious as it was the first time around.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“T2 Trainspotting” is one of those sequels that exceeded my expectation. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/editing. Like I said earlier, my only (minor) flaw with the movie is that the plot isn’t quite as unpredictable as the first one, but it doesn’t take away too much for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “T2 Trainspotting” is a 9,23/10. So while mildly flawed, it is definitely worth buying!

My review of “T2 Trainspotting” is now completed.

“T2 Terminator-spotting”… god damn it, now I want to see Begbie go up against a Terminator. Can we make that happen, please?

Movie Review: Trainspotting (1996)

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Well… now is a good a time as any to finally check this movie out, since a sequel is coming out very soon and such. So here we go.

Ladies and gents… “Trainspotting”.

Renton (Ewan McGregor) is a young man living in Scotland. He also has quite the drug problem. And we follow Renton as he is trying to go clean, with all the problems that entails, such as peer pressure and the sweet allure of those dirty fucking drugs. And the tale of Renton is definitely an incredibly interesting one. The stuff we witness Renton (and his friends) go through is fascinating, disturbing, odd, and entertaining. It’s hard to really describe my feelings about the plot here because it is very unique and doesn’t really follow any typical formula. Like I said, I was constantly engaged and entertained by it.

The characters in this movie are all assholes in one way or another, but I didn’t completely hate any of them. And they were all very entertaining. Ewan McGregor was great as Renton, perfectly playing this drug-addicted young man. Jonny Lee Miller played Sick Boy (actual character name) and he was really good. Ewen Bremmer played Spud, another one of Renton’s friends, and he was really good. Then we had Robert Carlyle as Begbie, a real wild card of a character. Let me just put it like this: Just breath in his general direction the wrong way and you will have the worst day of your life… yeah, he’s that level of asshole… and Carlyle was great! Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd. Yeah… interesting characters, great performances.

What’s interesting about the music in “Trainspotting” is that there’s no original score… yeah, that’s an unusual one. Instead we simply have a soundtrack. Not that it’s a bad thing, oh no. Because the soundtrack in this movie is pretty great, containing a perfect mix of pop, rock, and techno, all perfectly fitting the scenes they’re used in.

This movie was directed by Danny Boyle and I think he did a terrific job here. The shots and editing here all perfectly fit this dirty, uneasy, drug-fueled world the characters live in. With that said, there are some trippy scenes in the movie, and they are kind of weird but also very well done. There’s also a decent amount of humor in the movie. Very dark humor, but definitely humor. And I thought that said humor was funny and entertaining. But there are also one or two parts that were a bit disturbing, which I understand why they’re there… because stay away from drugs, kiddos.

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 83/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #160 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best adapted screenplay.

“Trainspotting” is a kind of weird but very engaging  movie. It has a great plot, entertaining characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Trainspotting” is a 9,86/10. Which means it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Trainspotting” is now completed.

How the fuck do you sequelize this?

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

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Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I have had so much fun with this series of reviews, especially since it gave me an excuse to rewatch all of the movie in this series I grew up with. And I thank anyone who has given each review a like and/or a comment, I really appreciate it. So… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”!!! *sniffles*.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are at the final stretch. Only a few horcruxes left to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who now possesses the almighty elder wand. And from that we get the final chapter in this huge saga. But it’s not just a big and epic war, there is still a good amount of substance to it. The plot presented to us is very fast-paced but still manages to give us some very solid drama. We even get to learn more on the backstory on a few of the characters and it really helps to give this world we all love even more depth and emotion. So it’s a very solid plot we have here.

The character are as great as they will ever become in this movie. Harry has now fully matured and become the hero and leader needed for the battle. And Radcliffe is as amazing as ever… not much else to say there. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, they were great in their roles again. Ralph Fiennes, he was great. Alan Rickman (rest in peace you awesome man) got some more space as Snape in this movie and he was absolutely fantastic. Warwick Davis got to play double roles in this movie and he was great in both. For those wondering, he played both Griphook and Professor Flitwick. Matthew Lewis got some good screen time and further got to evolve Neville. We also saw the return of the great John Hurt as Ollivander. Firstly, good to see you again sir. What’s it been? 8 movies? Jokes aside, he was really good. I’d say that every returning actor ranged from really good to great in this movie. So let’s talk about the few new additions to the cast that this movie got. Firstly we get Ciarán Hinds as Aberforth, someone with deep ties to a certain someone in the “HP” universe. Not gonna mention who because there are people who haven’t seen this yet (grrr), so I just want them to experience it. And I just wanna mention also that I didn’t recognize Hinds as this character. I seriously had to look up who played him. But I can safely say that his performance is good. The second one I want to mention is a character played by Kelly Macdonald that shows up pretty briefly. She’s important in the end and her performance was really good. All actors were really good… MOVING ON!

The music (like in the previous part) was composed by Alexandre Desplat and it’s fucking fantastic. Some of the pieces in the score really are something special. And all hte tracks in the movie perfectly fit the scenes and really helped add something to it all. And of course it was amazing hearing some of the classic themes throughout… fucking nostalgic, I tell ya.

David Yates of course directed this movie, he had no reason not to. I mean, if he did Part 1 he had to do Part 2. But enough of the jokey stuff. Was his directing good in this movie? You can bet your ass it was! It’s just as great as in the previous movie. His directing is tense and dramatic. And the cinematography by Eduardo Serra is beautiful. And the visual effects are absolutely stunning. All of these of course make for some absolutely fantastic action scenes. Let me also say that this movie made me cry. Two and a half times. Half as in one time wasn’t a full cry, only like a single tear. But yeah, this shit made me sad. *sniffles*.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% (100% if you go by “top critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #223 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup, best visual effects, and Best art direction.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is the perfect way to end this magnificent franchise. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, great cinematography, and amazing visual effects. Time for my final score. Shut up, I’m not crying. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is now completed.

This is it, the very end. And since it’s such a special occasion, I want to do something I never really do. I am asking you all a favor. Share this around social media. Friends, family, followers, pets… doesn’t matter. Just share it, let’s make a big fuckin’ deal out of this! Thank you.