Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 3 (2016)

As some of you might know, I reviewed season one and two a while back (*nudge nudge wink wink*). And if you have any memory of that happening, then you might remember that I pretty much loved those seasons. So I’m super excited to finally review the third season for you guys. So here we go!

Ladies and gents… “Peaky Blinders” season 3!

The year is 1924 and everything seems to be looking up for Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy). Business is going well and he’s finally getting married. However, he soon finds himself getting into the fray once again when he has to start dealing with Russians, Italians, and a priest (Paddy Considine) with powerful connections. And I thought the plot here this season was really good. And while not quite as tense and unpredictable as the previous seasons, it still retains most of the intrigue and dramatic heft that one can expect from the show at this point. The season does go to some really dark and slightly messed up places at times too which really helps keep the plot of “Peaky Blinders” well above most shows out there.

The characters have always been a highlight of the show, and this season is no exception. Cillian Murphy of course returns as Thomas Shelby, the head of the Shelby family/business, and he is still the damaged and layered man we’ve come to know. And Cillian Murphy is once again fantastic in the role. Helen McCrory returns as Aunt Polly, and she is still one of the best female characters out there. And McCrory is of course fantastic in the role. Paul Anderson returns as Arthur Shelby, the rough-around-the-edges brother of Thomas, this time getting some more development than in previous seasons. And Anderson is fantastic in the role. Joe Cole returns as John Shelby, Thomas’ younger brother, and he’s great in the role. Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck, Sophie Rundle, Annabelle Wallis, all return and they’re all great. Tom Hardy also makes a return as Alfie Solomons, and while he isn’t in this season a whole lot, he’s still one of the best parts of it. Now, let’s talk about the newcomer worth talking about: Paddy Considine. I’ve been a fan of him for a while now, and seeing him in here as a sneaky priest was interesting. His character is really interesting and Considine is great in the role. Really, the acting here is terrific.

Like in previous season, there is no real identifiable original score that we can properly talk about. But instead we once again get a soundtrack consisting mainly of rock songs from the past 20 – 25 years or so. There are also a couple newer songs too that are hard to pin a genre on, but still work really well in this show. That is something I want to mention: When imagining a gangster show set in 1920s Birmingham one woudln’t think a rock-based soundtrack would work, but it somehow does. Give the person responsible for picking the songs a fucking raise.

This show was created by Steven Knight, and all episodes this season were directed by Tim Mielants, who I think did a great job. His direction is very tight and helps create a tense and good mood that elevates the show quite a bit. It’s also a visually arresting show… just thought I’d mention that. Also, this show is bloody/violent and features nudity, so if you’re one of those wimps who can’t stomach that stuff in movies and TV, you have been warned.

This show has been very well received, but this season is fucking impossible to say with since it has no score on the sites I usually use. Sure, it exists on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, but it has no score on there. And on imdb.com the show (no seasonal average) has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #66 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Peaky Blinders” season 3 is great… not much else I can say. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Peaky Blinders” season 3 is a 9,71/10. So yeah, it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Peaky Blinders” season 3 is now completed.

Mumble mumble mumble mumble fuck mumble. That is how Tom Hardy sounds in this show and it’s so much fun.

Movie Review: Child 44 (2015)

Adapting a book to a film is a very serious gamble. Sometimes you can  succeed very well and get something as great as Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, or you get something as mediocre as “The Hunger Games” (That’s right, I said it). So for you aspiring filmmakers out there want to adapt something into a movie… be careful.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Child 44”.

The Soviet Union, 1953. Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) is a member of the Russian Military police that takes on the the task of investigating a series child murders. And what follows is a tale of betrayal, redemption, and other fancy words. The basic story of this movie is actually really good and could be incredibly compelling… however, the execution of said story in this movie is not that good. I wouldn’t say that it was bad, but you can tell that the movie’s reach exceeds it’s grasp. The people who made this film clearly wanted to make the plot compelling and suspenseful, but in the end it was just kind of… meh. Which is kind of sad, because the ideas they set up here are actually good. The execution on the other hand is not that great. It’s kind of boring. I can appreciate a slowly paced movie, but the pacing in this movie is kind of shit.

The characters in this movie are decently interesting. I wouldn’t say that I was too invested in them, but they weren’t bad. Tom Hardy plays the main character Leo Demidov and actually gave a great performance. I actually did kind of care about his character, but that’s mainly because of Hardy’s great performance. Noomi Rapace played Hardy’s wife in this movie and she was good. Joel Kinnaman plays one of Hardy’s colleague in the movie and he did a really good job. His character was a bit psycho, and Kinnaman portrayed that very well. Gary Oldman is also really good in the movie, even though he doesn’t get to do too much in this. Jason Clarke pops up very briefly in this movie, and he does a really good job even though, like I said, his appearance is rather brief. We also get Fares Fares as another one of Hardy’s colleagues and he gives a really good performance. So yeah… there are a bunch of really solid performances in this movie.

The original score for the movie was composed by Jon Ekstrand and it was pretty good. While it never did anything overly unique/original, it was still well composed and fit the movie fairly well.

This movie was directed by Daniel Espinosa and he did an okay job. The shots for the most part look really good, but I think that’s more thanks to the cinematographer, Oliver Wood. There are a few action scenes in this movie and they are… okay. The main problem with them is that they are too shaky. I know that it works in “Bourne Ultimatum” (also shot by Oliver Wood), but here it just looks bad. Basically when there is no action and people are simply talking or there is some establishing shot, this movie looks great. But when action comes it turns into a shaky, quickly cut mess. Also, remember when I talked about adapting books at the beginning of the review? Yeah, this movie is based on the book of the same name written by Tom Rob Smith.

This movie has not been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 26% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 41/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Child 44” is a movie that has glimpses of greatness throughout it’s entire runtime, but ultimately falls flat. It has a meh story, okay characters, great performances, good music, okay directing, and good cinematography. The things that bring it down is an uncompelling plot, characters not being the most compelling, and action scenes being shaky as shit. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Child 44” is a 6,22/10.
So it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Child 44” is now completed.

In Soviet Russia, movie watch you.

 

Movie Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

bourneultimatum

The third part in my series of reviews leading up to “Jason Bourne”… damn, time sure has gone by quickly. I can swear that it was March like a week ago. Oh well, let’s just move on to the review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Ultimatum”.

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is on the run again… but this time it’s still from the CIA because he is apparently still considered a threat. But now he’s not trying so much to figure out who is trying to kill him, but he’s instead opting to figure out who he is and what he was before Treadstone. And from that we get a relatively straightforward plot with some pretty interesting turns and revelations. While there isn’t much of a “traditional” plot in this movie (much like the previous two films), the drama and suspense that is built up through Jason’s journey in the movie makes it all feel like there still is some kind of plot, and a damn good one at that.

The characters are all very shady but also very interesting. At this point I think it’s safe to say that Matt Damon is terrific as Jason Bourne, giving better performances for each movie he’s in. Julia Stiles once again plays Nicky in the movie and she’s pretty great, getting a much more physical role than in the previous movies.  Joan Allen also makes her return, once again playing Pamela Landy… yeah, she’s great. Then we get some new additions to the cast that are all very welcome thanks to the great performances we get. This includes the likes of David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Edgar Ramirez, Paddy Considine and Albert Finney… such a great cast (that actually works) is hard to find.

John Powell once again did the music for the movie and as the first two times it’s just great. Tense, big, action-y, dramatic… just great. There isn’t much to say really considering it hasn’t been updated that much since “Bourne Identity”… still great though. Also, “Extreme Ways”… still awesome to hear it even though this is my least favorite version of the song.

Thank you, Paul Greengrass. Thank you for directing this movie because this is one of the most well made action films of the past ten years. The action is tense, it’s suspenseful, it’s quick, it’s badass, it’s exactly what one would want from a modern action flick. Sure, the action is “shaky”, but I feel like Greengrass is one of the few people who knows how t ouse shaky-cam to actually make the movie be good. Here is the example I wanna bring up: Watch the movie “Alex Cross”, then come back and watch this, that way you know how to do/not do shaky-cam. Moving on, is there anything else in the movie that works that isn’t action-related? Yeah, there is a lot. Some things were mentioned early on, so I’m not gonna talk about that shit. But I will say that there is a scene early in the movie that tells you everything you need to know without explicitly telling you what it is. The scene gives you the details you need to easily puzzle it all together and I just love that so much. It’s simple, but not in a way that doesn’t blatantly tell us that were dumb and need everything spoon-fed to us. I love it, it’s great.

This movie has gotten a lot of good reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a  93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #205 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing, Best sound mixing and Best sound editing. 

“The Bourne Ultimatum” is another welcome addition into the franchise, featuring an interesting plot, great acting, great music, great directing and great action. It also has a relatively ambiguous ending that I like. Time for my final score. *Sings “Extreme Ways” to pass the time*. My final score for “The Bourne Ultimatum” is a 9,90/10. This as you may expect of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Bourne Ultimatum” is now completed.

After rewatching the movie in preparation for this review I discovered that this might be my favorite movie in the series… also, get hyped for “Bourne Legacy” next month!

 

Movie Review: The World’s End (2013)

the_worlds_end_hd_wallpaper-1280x720

 

Anybody else here in love with Edgard Wright? I can safely say that I am because of some of those awesome movies of his. I mean, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” are two of my favorite comedies of all time. Wright is such a unique director that I always look forward to his movies. That is why I find it sad that he left “Ant-Man” because that would have been one of the most amazing things ever. Oh well, let’s review a movie he did in fact make.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The World’s End”.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) is a bit of a man-child. Ever since he failed a pub-crawl in the early 90’s, he has had the desire to finish it. So now he has assembled his old friends Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) to once again try their hands on it and actually finish it. Problem is that they will also have to try to stop a big otherworldly invasion that has come to the town. Bizarre? Yes. Awesomely amazing? You bet your ass! Once again, Edgard Wright together with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have created something that is not only original but also inredibly entertaining. I never felt like the plot dragged at any point and it was consistently entertaining me in any way it could. A.K.A. I fucking loved it.

The characters in this movie were consistently entertaining and they all had a very consistent arc to them where you actually felt them grow in one way or another. Simon Pegg in this movie, he was fantastic in the movie. Not only does he deliver the comedy perfectly, but he actually gives a genuinely great performance. I’d even dare say it’s the best performance I have seen from him. Also, I’d almost guess he actually was drunk throughout the entire movie because I have never seen anyone play drunk this well. Nick Frost was also great, surprisingly enough playing the reserved and relatively laid back character (Sidenote: Watch “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” if you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about). Let’s just speed through everyone else of importance so this review won’t get too long, umm… Martin Freeman was great, Paddy Considine was great, Eddie Marsan was great, Rosamund Pike was great, David Bradley almost stole the show in the movie because he was awesome. Everyone was awesome, great job, guys!

This soundtrack is a mix of all kinds of songs. From Blur to Stone Roses to Primal Scream to Suede and a lot of other artists/bands. This soundtrack perfectly fits the energetic, bizarre and quick style of the movie. It is a perfectly put together soundtrack that fits it’s movie perfectly. It’s just as crazy as the movie itself and I love it.

Edgar Wright once again nails the directing with “The World’s End”, just like with his previous movies. The pacing is fast, the editing is quick and the shots look great, What I was a little surprised by was how great the action scenes are. Sure, there was a little action in “Hot Fuzz” as well, but not to the same extent. This movie has a surprising amount of action, and the action is really awesome. It is just as energetic and cool as everything else in the movie. And of course, the comedy in the movie is fantastic/hilarious, but that should be expected from this team.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“The World’s End” is another example of Edgard Wright being one of the greatest directors around. It has a bizarre and awesome story, the characters/performances are entertaining and great, the soundtrack is balls-to-the-wall awesome, the directing is pretty awesome and the action is surprisingly great. And the humor is amazing too. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The World’s End” is a 9,89/10. It deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “The World’s End” is completed.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…