Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 4 (2017)

As some of you might know, I have reviewed the previous three seasons of this shows before (nudge nudge, wink wink), and I honestly loved them all. So I was of course excited for the fourth season. So now that I’ve finally watched it I can give you my thoughts on it. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Peaky Blinders” season 4.

It’s christmastime, and everybody is trying to enjoy the holidays. But when Tommy (Cillian Murphy) receives a letter he realizes that his family will be in danger. So he has to bring the family together so they can defend themselves against their newest foe: A group of American gangsters led by the dangerous Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). So now we have our Peaky plot. And it’s still great. The plot here is tense, dramatic, filled with twists and turns, and never failed in keeping me engaged. There’s an air of mistrust and unease after the end of season 3 across the entirety of this season, and it adds so much to the quality of it all. So yeah, this is a great plot.

I’m not gonna go too in-depth with the main/returning players here, since I’ve talked about them so much in my previous reviews. But I can say that they’re all damaged here, and they’re all a bit different since the end of the previous season, adding another compelling side to them. Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Finn Cole, Sophie Rundle, Harry Kirton, Joe Cole, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Kate Phillips, Ned Dennehy… they’re all fantastic. Now for some of the newer people. As mentioned earlier, this season introduces Adrien Brody as Luca Changretta, an Italian-American gangster who’s coming for Tommy and the others. He’s a ruthless, cunning, and calculating villain. And Adrien Brody is inconsistent in the role. The writing itself is great, and there are moments where he can be quite menacing. But at a lot of points his delivery is almost like a caricature of Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”. It doesn’t take away too much from the show, but it is quite noticeable. Then we get Aidan Gillen as Aberama Gold, a Romani Gypsy that Tommy starts working with after the Italians make their entrance. He’s a clever and cool man who got a few tricks up his sleeve. And Gillen is really good in the role. And then of course we see the return of Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons for a bit. And he’s as awesome as ever. There are more actors throughout the season, but if I get too in-depth I might accidentally spoil stuff and also be here all night. But let it be known that this is overall very well acted.

The music here is interesting as there are some tracks composed specifically for it by Martin Slattery and Antony Genn. And those tracks are great. But let’s face it, everybody is here for the licensed rock tracks used throughout. And if this is your first time hearing about this, let me quickly explain. “Peaky Blinders”, despite being a period drama, has rock music in it… and it fucking works. Anthing from Nick Cave to Johnny Cash to Arctic Monkeys to a fuckload of other ones… and it works surprisingly well. All the music here’s great and it all works well within the show.

The show was created by Steven Knight, and he wrote all the episodes this season. And all the episodes here were directed by David Caffrey, who I think did a damn good job. He captures that gritty yet stylish “Peaky” flair that has been in all the seasons so far. And the cinematography by Cathal Watters is fantastic. There’s also some action in this show, and it’s tense and exciting. And really violent. ’tis awesome.

This show/season has been well received (from the little data I can gather on my usual sites). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating. On Metacritic it exists but has no real score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #57 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

Yeah, season 4 of “Peaky Blinders” was great. Had a slight nitpick, but nothing to break it for me. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Like I said, I found Brody to be a bit inconsistent here, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. Just takes me a tiny bit out of it at some moments. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Peaky Blinders” season 4 is a 9,60/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Peaky Blinders” season 4 is now completed.

PEAKY FOCKIN’ BLOINDEHS!

“Peaky Blinders” season 4 trailer!

Helllo there, ladies and gents. Time for another trailer talk. So let’s just jump into it.

So we finally have a trailer for the fourth season of “Peaky Blinders”, BBC’s depression era gangster-drama. And let’s just make it clear, I fucking love this show, it is one of my favorites. I’ve reviewed season 1 – 3 on this blog before, so go check those out if you want more in-depth thoughts on each season. But yeah, I love the show. Anyhow, here’s the trailer for season 4. So what the fuck is going on? Well, shit’s getting real as Tommy (Cillian Murphy) and his family have to deal with some new individuals causing them trouble, which seems to include Adrien Brody. And it looks like shit will get real. So do I think this looks good? Yes, god yes, it looks fantastic. “Peaky Blinders” has had three great seasons so far, and I have high hopes for season 4. It looks like it will be tense and dramatic and awesome. I am hyped. While there’s no specific date for season 4, it will probably air at some point later this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Peaky Blinders” season 4? And what’s your favorite gangster-drama? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

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: The Revenant (2015)

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Survival, something we all strive for in our own ways. Doesn’t matter at what level, all humans aim to survive in one way or another. Doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in your kitchen, having a cup of tea or if you’re lost in the woods… you are trying to survive.

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 gentlemen… “The Revenant”.

Frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) hasn’t had the best of times. First he got mauled by an angry bear, and then he got left for dead by his hunting team. So now Glass sets out on a long and difficult journey to survive and possibly get revenge. And before you ask, no this isn’t a fast-paced revenge action movie like “Kill Bill”. This is more of a slow and methodical tale about Glass just trying to stay alive while finding the asshole that wronged him. And I have to say that I thought it was a great plot. I don’t want to say that I enjoyed it, because there’s some really disturbing stuff going on at times and it’s a pretty harrowing tale, so enjoyment is not the word I’d use for the plot. It was a ver yinteresting plot that I was invested in from start to finish.

The characters in this movie were all realistic and very interesting. Leonardo DiCaprio… holy fuck, that dude can act. He doesn’t say a whole lot, and when he does it isn’t always in English. But I always believed his performance, it was absolutely fantastic. Tom Hardy was also great in the movie, even though he feel back on the typical “Tom Hardy mumble” quite a bit. But his performance overall was great. Domhnall Gleeson, also turning out a truly great performance in the movie. And Will Poulter was really good too, he really surprised me in this movie. I mean, there wasn’t ever a performance I’d call bad or even mediocre in this movie… all were somewhere between good and fan-fucking-tastic.

The score for the movie was composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, and Bryce Dessner. And it was nothing short of great. There were tracks that were really exciting and there were tracks that were really haunting and eerie. Really, the score was very well composed and perfectly fit the movie.

This movie was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man who also directed “Birdman”. And once again he did something very unique when directing this movie. Though instead of making the entire movie look like one continuous shot he opted to shoot the entire movie in natural light. Which means that he actually went out into the fucking wilderness and shot with all natural light sources, like the sun or some fire. No studio lights or green screen here, it’s the real deal. Sure, there was some CG in the movie, but only for some of the more impossible stuff… like Leonardo DiCaprio getting mauled by a god damn bear, that was of course a man in a funny suit getting some CGI edited on top of him so he could become a bear. There were apparently a bunch more bits of CG in the movie, but it was blended so well with the practical that I couldn’t tell which was which. Shit, here I’ve spent a bunch of words talking about visual effects that I forgot to talk about the directing/cinematography. But yeah, that stuff is holy fucking shit levels of amazing. The scenes are very well crafted and the cinematography is some of the best that I’ve ever seen. It is a visually stunning movie. Let’s talk about the action scenes in the movie. There are not too many, but when they happen they are incredibly brutal and disturbing. I don’t have a problem with violence in movies, but the stuff here is done in such a brutal and realistic way that it got some reactions out of me. So if you haven’t seen this movie and you’re squeamish… consider this a warning.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (DiCaprio, finally), Best Director, and Best Cinematography. The movie was also nominated for an additional 9 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Sounds Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Production Design. 

“The Revenant” is an incredibly impressive film. It has a great plot, great characters, terrific performances, great music, fantastic directing, gorgeous cinematography, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Grunting noise*. My final score for “The Revenant” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Revenant” is now completed.

Damn nature, you scary!

Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 2 (2014)

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As you probably know, I did recently review the first season of this show about three weeks back. And if so you probably also remember that I really fucking enjoyed it. So now I guess it’s time to review the second season.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the second season of… “Peaky Blinders”.

1921, two years after the end of season one we once again follow gang leader Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) as he’s trying to keep the gang running. But since some time has passed he feels like he wants to expand his reach a bit. And for that to happen he has to strike a deal with another gangster named Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). But Tommy will still face trouble with local mob boss Daryl Sabini (Noah Taylor). He also has to face the return of Major Chester Campbell (Sam Neill) who now has even more of a grudge against Tommy. And with all of these things, there is definitely a noticeable raise in stakes for the season together with a huge increase in dramatic tension… and I absolutely loved it so much. There is so much more happening in the episodes yet nothing feels forced or unnecessary, every little bit of story here fits perfectly into the bigger picture. There are even a few twists and turns at times in the season and they work really well too. As you might tell, I really loved the plot/story of this season.

The characters are once again great, with the ones returning from season one getting some really good character development. CIllian Murphy is once again great as Thomas Shelby, Paul Anderson knocked it out of the park again as Arthur, Helen McCrory is amazing as Polly, Sam Neill is still great as Campbell even if his accent still is on-and-off. Then we have one new addition I just have to talk about, Tom Hardy as Alfie Solomons… holy shit, he is so great in the role. He not only gives a great overall performance, but he is also so entertaining and funny which really added something to this season. I also like how he was almost as profane as me. Every actor was great, every character was great, all of that was great.

Once again there was no original score composed for the show. Instead the creators opted for a mix of a lot of contemporary rock/pop/metal songs that could kind of work in some weird way… and they were right about that. And while it’s still weird to hear songs like “Out of the Black” by Royal Blood or “Do I wanna know” by Arctic Monkeys in a gangster show set in 1920’s Birmingham, it still does work in some weird fuckin’ way. I do think the soundtrack was really good. And just like in season one, Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” serves as the show’s main theme and it’s still great to hear even if it is in cover/remix form from time to time.

The cinematography for season two is really good, just like in season one. Sure, the directing is for the most part pretty standard, but the cinematography itself is great. And the writing is really solid too, with tons of interesting little quirks and terrific lines. What I also found interesting is how this season upped the ante in terms of… most things. It’s more violent, it shows more nudity, it has even more cursing… things that might divide some audiences. For me… it kind of made sense.

Seeing as this is a British show, it hasn’t got too muich attention on my regular sites. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. And on imdb.com the show has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #86 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

The second season of “Peaky Blinders” takes everything that was good/great about the first season and somehow makes it even better. The plot is better, the characters are more developed, the soundtrack features new & interesting songs, the cinematography is great and of course Tom Hardy is really fucking entertaining. Time for my final score. FOCKIN’ ‘ELL! My final score for “Peaky Blinders” season two is a 9,91/10. IT most certainly gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

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

Wait… so I have to wait until October until season 3? God damn it!

Series Review: Peaky Blinders – Season 1 (2013)

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I don’t know why, but I find myself incredibly fascinated by British history. Whether it’d be in the early 1000’s or much later like during WW2… the Brits seem to always have some interesting history to them. So it didn’t come as a surprise (more than a year ago) that I would find myself interested in a show about British gangsters. Questions is though… would the show be any good? Now  that I finally have sat down to watch the first season of this show, I am ready to tell you.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Peaky Blinders”.

This show is set in 1919 Birmingham and follows a gang called the peaky blinders and it’s leader Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and how he’s trying to hold this gang together with members of his family. But he runs into some trouble because of an Irish detective (Sam Neill) who comes to town because of some stolen guns, which the blinders are accused of stealing. And I will not say anything else because there is a lot of elements to the plot of this show that I don’t wanna spoil since they are interesting and needs to be experienced. That’s right, I do think that the plot for the show is really great. The plot has the right amount of drama without being dreary while also pacing itself perfectly. A lot of it thanks to the excellent writing of the show and the surprising amount of suspense built from the events and character interactions.

The characters in this show are all perfectly fleshed out and they’re all very interesting. What’s also great is that you get to know them all very well in the very first episode which is something a lot of shows don’t manage. Cillian Murphy is fantastic as Tommy Shelby, a gang leader who just the year before had been in the war, so you can expect him to be a little bit broken. And Murphy absolutely captures this perfectly. Sam Neill as the detective coming to Birmingham does a terrific job too, playing a man who is both despicable and sympathetic. I mean, the guy is technically just doing his job even though he does it in a less than morally correct way. Sure, his Irish accent can be a bit off on occasion, but his performance overall is great. British actor Paul Anderson plays Tommy’s brother, Arthur and he is absolutely terrific as well. The final one I wanna mention is Annabelle Wallis who plays Grace, a barmaid at the bar Tommy owns. Yeah, she’s fucking great in her role too. Every actor’s great in their role. Nothing more to say about that.

What is interesting to note about the soundtrack for the show is that they pullex a Tarantino for it. What I mean by that is that they used a mix of songs from anything ever, whether it’d be from some rock band or tracks from other movies. A large chunk of it I noticed had something to do with Nick Cave. Either it would be a song from his career (both solo and with The Bad Seeds) or it would be from a movie he had composed for with Warren Ellis. Sure, there were some other bands too like The White Stripes, but it was mostly Nick Cave-related. Hell, the theme song for the show is “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Sidenote: One of the few Nick Cave songs I genuinely like). But yeah, even though I would say it’s a weird soundtrack for a historical movie I do think it works for this show. I guess it’s because of the songs used being chosen well enough by the crew working on the show.

This show was created by Steven Knight who also directed the movie “Locke”, a movie I really enjoyed. He also wrote the movie “Eastern Promises” which I coincidentally reviewed yesterday. And while he didn’t direct any episodes of this show, he did write some of them. And like I said, the writing in the show is terrific. And the directing from the different people who took on that mantle is great. Some shots do look pretty standard, but then there are scenes where the cinematography just looks absolutely beautiful.

This bit is usually the easiest one for me since I basically just have to state what I read off of my regular sites. But this time it is slightly different since it hasn’t gotten the same mainstream attention as other shows. I will say then that Metacritic is out of the game. On Rotten Tomatoes however the season has an 86% positive rating. And on imdb.com the show overall has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #86 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“Peaky Blinders” is an excellent British show with a great story, fantastic acting, a great soundtrack, great directing and great writing. Time for my final score. Bloody hell. My final score for season 1 of “Peaky Blinders” is a 9,90/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

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

Razor blades in the front of the cap? Sure, why not?