Series Review: Fortitude – Season 3 (2018)

For the past two years, I’ve covered one season of this show for the Month of Spooks. And today we reach the third and final season. It’s been an interesting journey. So let’s travel to this frozen town one last time.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Fortitude” season 3.

With the remaining survivors in the town of Fortitude still reeling from the traumatic events of season 2, one would think things would calm down a bit. But it doesn’t take long for new people to show up, stirring up new horrors, all while the local Sheriff (Richard Dormer) seems to be going a bit mad. The story has a lot of potential for greatness here. But it sadly doesn’t reach that potential. As a matter of fact, it’s nowhere even close to succeeding. What was one a slowly burning, off-kilter, and creepy narrative that engaged for most of the runtime, season 3 is bafflingly insane. It’s four episodes of eyebrow raising, gasping, and exclaiming “What in the actual fuck just happened!?”. It’s one insane and nonsensical event after the other, and I find myself constantly baffled at what is going on before my eyes. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

The characters in this are a mixed bag. On one hand, I know who they are because I watched the other seasons. But on the other, their arcs this season are so bizarre and poorly written that I just can’t find myself that engaged with it. The only one I can kind of care about is Dan Anderssen, Fortitude’s currently mad Sheriff, and that’s mainly because Richard Dormer gives us a wonderfully hammy performance. The rest of the cast give it their all, even if they don’t get to be quite as… delightfully expressive. But the returning actors like Dennis Quaid, Luke Treadaway, Darren Boyd, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Sienna Guillory, Mia Jexen, and more, all do the best they can with the material. And the newcomers are… fine, they don’t get much to chew on here.

As with previous seasons, the score for season 3 was composed by Ben Frost, and it was a strange downstep. Sometimes it was close to the dramatic and emotionally resonant stuff we’ve heard before… but then there are songs that use a smooth lounge trumpet… and I don’t know what they’re trying to convey, but it just feels really fucking off.

Season 3 of “Fortitude” was written by series creator Simon Donald, with Kieron Hawkes handling direction on all episodes. And as you may have expected from the previous sections, this stuff is a bit of a mixed bag. The writing is insane and nonsensical, whereas the direction tries to fix everything… keyword being “tries”. You can tell that Hawkes does his best in trying to make all the madness work. Not even Gary Shaw’s great cinematography can help make it work.

This show/season has had some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% critics rating, but a 52% rating from audiences. On Metacritic it exists with no rating at all. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.4/10.

Season 3 of “Fortitude” is an absolute trainwreck, and not even Richard Dormer’s delightfully hammy performance can save the season. The story is a strange mess, the characters have no compelling arcs, the performances are fine, the music is meh, and the directing/cinematography is alright. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for season 3 of “Fortitude” is a 3.22/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “Fortitude” season 3 is now completed.

Were they on drugs? It feels like they were on drugs.

Series Review: Watchmen – Season 1 (2019)

That’s right, it’s not just christmas contrivances you’ll get. Regular reviews will show up too, I ain’t forgettin’ my roots. So, let’s talk about a comic book thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Watchmen” season 1!

Set in an alternate version of 2019, “Watchmen” follows a whole bunch of people, as they try to navigate the strange and intense happenings of this world they live in. And that’s pretty much all I’ll say in regards to explaining the core plot, because it’s such a weird and unique experience that if explained further, it would risk kinda ruining it. But I’ll say that the ways it ties into the classic comic book are really neat, and even looking at it without really knowing much (if anything) about the comic, it’s still a highly entertaining and unique journey that has a satisfying beginning, middle, and end.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, colorful, and just really interesting. Regina King plays Angela Abar, an undercover police officer who more or less serves as the main protagonist of the story. She’s tough, but she does also have a vulnerable side that makes her feel more human and relatable. And King is great in the role. And that’s all the cast I’ll go into, as some reveals are better left experienced (kinda like the plot). But I can say that the cast is filled out with people like Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Sara Vickers, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tom Mison, James Wolk, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, and good god damn, they did a phenomenal job with it. They do some tracks that are quite exciting and cool-sounding, while also providing some tracks that are a bit more dramatic and emotional. They have created a score that not only covers every emotion one needs created for a show like this, but also fits the weird and unique style of everything else in the show. There’s also some licensed tracks used throughout, and they work quite well in their respective scenes too. So yeah, this show has good music.

Based on the classic DC Comic by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore, “Watchmen” was developed for HBO by Damon Lindelof, who also served as lead writer, while giving directing duties to a whole bunch of other people. And the craft on display here is absolutely superb, creating a world that is familiar (thanks to it technically still being earth), and yet a bit alien, thanks to its awesomely off-kilter tone. The directing is energetic, but also suspenseful, fun, and engaging. The cinematography too is stunning, giving us some great lighting and framing. And with all this said, episode 6… some of the best craft in a tv episode this year, from the shots, to the editing, to the directing… it’s fucking spectacular.

This show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Watchmen” is one of the best new shows of 2019. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great writing, directing, cinematography, and editing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Watchmen” is a 9,90/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Watchmen” season 1 is now completed.

I know I called this season 1, but I sincerely hope there are no more seasons. This is a perfectly contained package.

Series Review: Doom Patrol – Season 1 (2019)

We’re getting a lot of superhero stuff these days. But what I do like about it is that we’re at a point where we’re getting more experimental things, not just typical “Colorful hero saves day” thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like those… but I appreciate the lean towards a lot more weird things. So let’s discuss such a thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Doom Patrol” season 1!

The story follows a group of outcasts who have been brought together by a scientist (Timothy Dalton) as they have to reluctantly band together to stop the villainous Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk)… at least that’s the initial setup. It sets itself up with a bit of a typical superhero idea, but then decides to shove that to the side a bit to explore the stranger side of the DC universe. While there are overarching themes and ideas, each episode is generally a self-contained adventure where the team encounter a new strange thing and have to deal with that while also having to try to handle their personal demons. So the show balances a lot of ideas and tones, which can often be a movie or show’s downfall. But “Doom Patrol” balances it all wonderfully to create a unique superhero show that for the most part just subverts most superhero tropes, all while giving us some of the most surprisingly compelling character drama that I have seen in quite a while. It’s a strange, fun, emotional, and overall well-realized story that I loved following from start to end.

The characters are flawed, layered, colorful, and just overall really interesting. They’re all damaged in some way, which makes them quite dysfunctional, leading to a lot of interesting character dynamics. And with the core cast of Diane Guerrero, Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Matt Bomer, Joivan Wade, and Timothy Dalton, you get some truly great performances to go along with these vividly written characters.

The score for the show was composed by Clint Mansell and Kevin Kiner. And man, it is pretty great. A lot of synth is used throughout, which gives the show an almost otherworldly feeling that helps sell the unique vibe of the show. It’s suspense-building, it’s emotionally charged, it’s exciting, it’s fun… it’s just a perfect match for the show. There are also a handful of licensed tracks used throughout the season, and they work quite well in their respective scenes. So yeah, this show has great music.

Based on the comic books from DC, the show was created by Jeremy Carver, and written/directed by a whole bunch of cool people. And as mentioned in some of the previous sections, the writing is some of the most uniquely compelling stuff I’ve experienced in quite some time. And the directing is pretty stellar too, featuring some really fun camerawork that adds a lot to the show in terms of visual storytelling. I should probably also mention that the show in large part is a comedy. So is it funny? Yes, very, it’s one of the funniest shows I’ve watched in a while. The humor can often be quite crude and weird, but I do think it works to the show’s advantage in giving it a distinct feel.

This show/season has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10.

“Doom Patrol” is one of the weirdest shows I’ve seen in quite a while… but it’s also absolutely fantastic. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great writing/directing, and hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Doom Patrol” season 1 is a 9,92/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Doom Patrol” season 1 is now completed.

That was a bit insane.

Series Review: Legion – Season 2 (2018)

Another year(ish) has passed, the season has wrapped up (in the US and here in Sweden at least), so now I can finally talk about the insanity that is “Legion” once again. If you haven’t seen the show or know nothing about it, go read my season 1 review, then go watch the show. This is not the jumping-on point.

Ladies and gents… “Legion” season 2.

Set a year after the first season, David (Dan Stevens) finds himself having to work with both his friends and an old foe to stop Farouk (Navid Negahban) from finding his old body, which would give him a lot of power. So the basic idea this season is a bit more straightforward compared to the first, since we know what the general goal of the characters is. Of course, “Legion” being “Legion”, its approach to telling this story isn’t as straightforward and normal as most shows. It’s still filled with weird, trippy shit that may just leave you confused at first, but will make a little bit more sense down the line. But through this strange journey we do get some solid drama, suspense, and intriguing storytelling. Is the narrative as strong as the first season? Not quite. It’s still damn good, but it’s not quite as tight as the first season since it’s trying to branch out into something bigger. The plot here is still damn good though.

The characters in this are weird, unique, colorful, and endlessly interesting. Dan Stevens returns as David, the trouble yet powerful young man at the center of the story. He already got some solid development over the first season’s run, and I’m happy to see that being a thing here as well. The journey we see David go through as a character is really fascinating and it really makes him such a deep and interesting character. And Stevens is once again fantastic in the role. Next we have Rachel Keller back as David’s girlfriend, Syd Barrett (*Insert Pink Floyd song here*). She has an interesting arc here that is based around David’s arc, with his affecting hers (keeping it vague is hard). And it’s interesting. We do also get some good backstory on her. And Keller is great in the role. Next we have Aubrey Plaza once again as Lenny, the mysterious old friend of David’s. Not gonna say anything else about her arc because it’s best left experienced. But it’s great. And Plaza is great. We also of course see the return of Bill Irwin, Amber Midthunder, Jean Smart, Jemaine Clement, Jeremie Harris, and Hamish Linklater, and all are still great in their respective roles. And newcomer Navid Negahban also holds his own as the smooth yet powerful and somewhat intimidating Farouk. Really, it’s a damn great cast.

Jeff Russo returned to do the score for this season, and he once again knocked it out of the park. His score is tense, trippy, surreal, emotional, and just overall works perfectly for the show. There’s also a ton of licensed music used throughout, and all the song work excellently in their respective scenes. The use of music in this show is just phenomenal.

Based on some Marvel comics from Bill Sienkiewicz and Chris Claremont, the show was created by Noah Hawley (who’s still the showrunner). And once again, the creative minds behind this show has crafted something truly unique. Let’s start with the visuals, because that’s what a lot of people will pick up on first. The way the show uses lighting, colors, creative camera angles, effects, and even aspect ratio to create a unique style helps make this show one of the most visually interesting I’ve ever seen. I thought season 1 had some great visuals, but this season brought that stuff to the next level. And the editing (which I almost never talk about) is also sublime. This show just has such a unique style that I’ve never really seen anywhere else.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #225 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

While not quite as amazing as the first season, “Legion” season 2 is still a great season of television. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/effects/other technical things. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Legion” season 2 is a 9,54/10. So it is still worthy of the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

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

Even if “Legion” would drop a bit in quality, I’d rather take it and its strange and unique kind of storytelling over most shows.

Movie Review: It Comes at Night (2017)

Survival. Something we all experience in our lives on various levels. A lot of us have it very easy, since we have homes and can pay bills to get heat and such in them. Then we have others who live on the streets or out in the woods, struggling to find supplies or shelter to survive. And one day we might all be in that type of situation if we’re unlucky.

Ladies and gentlemen… “It Comes at Night”.

The world has gone to shit. A mysterious threat has made it very hard to live out in the world. To keep himself and his family safe from this threat, a man (Joel Edgerton) has isolated himself and his family in a very secure house in the middle of nowhere. And we follow them as they try to survive. And I know what you’re thinking… sort of. And I want you to take your expectations, and throw them out of the fucking window. This is an unusual little horror plot, relying more on dread, paranoia, and slowly building tension rather than jumps and disturbing imagery. Sure, there is a little bit of disturbing imagery in the movie, but it’s not the focus on this. It’s a slowly burning psychological horror movie, and I thought it was very riveting. from the very first frame I started feeling a great sense of unease. Tense, bleak, dramatic, harrowing. Yeah, this is a great plot. Again, throw those expectations out… this is far from whatever you could imagine.

The characters here are layered, understandable in their motivations, likable, interesting, and I found myself caring about all of them. I’m not gonna go in-depth with all of them, as I feel they’re best experienced, since my explanation of them could ruin the interesting discoveries one might make about them. But I can at least say that every actor here (including people like Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbott, Riley Keough, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.) does a fantastic job, there is no weak link in the cast.

The score for the movie was composed by Brian McOmber and I think he did a great job. His score is dark, tense, eerie, and helped to create some truly uneasy and even kind of scary moments throughout the film. It’s truly one of those scores that helped elevate the movie.

This movie was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults and I think he did a fantastic job. His direction here is tight tense, and never lets the feeling of unease go away. He makes us feel the same kind of paranoia as the characters in this movie, and that makes it feel a whole lot more immersive. And the cinematography by Drew Daniels is stunning, and makes perfect use of light and darkness to make you feel uneasy and even scared at times. Don’t expect your typical kinds of scariness here, this is a wholly unique type of horror.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. 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 6,2/10.

“It Comes at Night” is highly unusual, and I think it’s much better for it. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “It Comes at Night” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “It Comes at Night” is now completed.

If you’re interested in watching the movie, then don’t watch any trailers. And like I said earlier… throw those expectations out.

Movie Review: The Conjuring (2013)

And the Month of Spooks marches on! So what type of horrible horror is on the table tonight? Another haunting? Cool.

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 Conjuring”.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are a couple who happen to be paranormal investigators. And one day they get called in to try to help a family who claim to be haunted by some dark/evil presence. So now we have our haunted family/house/person/thing story. And I use that quick description of it because there’s a lot of familiar elements to it. A good amount of the beats throughout we know from various other movies, so it doesn’t bring a lot new to the table. That said, it does these things quite well. The plot here is creepy and tense, and I was invested in it from start to finish. Not saying that it’s perfect, but it’s definitely good.

For the most part I found myself invested in the characters here. They were interesting and decently likable. Patrick Wilson plays Ed Warren, one of the two who go to investigate this creepy situation. He’s a bit reluctant to do it based on something that happened in the past, and he’s given a good amount of development in this movie. And Wilson is great in the movie. Vera Farmiga plays Lorraine Warren, wife of Ed, and fellow investigator. She’s a fairly well developed character as well, which includes the same past situation as her husband. I also like her because she’s determined and decently tough without coming off like a thundering dumbass. They make her strong but vulnerable. And Farmiga is great in the role. Lili Taylor plays Carolyn, the mother of the family that is having haunting problems. She goes through some interesting stuff in this movie that makes her a pretty interesting character. And Taylor is great in the role. Then we have Ron Livingston as Roger, the father of the family. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with Livingston’s performance (it’s actually quite good), I found his character kind of lackluster. He’s supposed to be an important part of this, but his character feels underdeveloped compared to everyone else. And to not drag out this bit too much: All the kids in this movie do a good job. There, this is a well acted movie. Moving on!

The score for the movie was composed by Joseph Bishara and it was great. It was droning, creepy, eerie, chilling, and just overall worked quite well for the movie, often elevating the suspense of various scenes. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used in the movie that worked pretty well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by James Wan (making his second appearance this Month of Spooks) and I thought he did a great job. He does a lot with very little, building a lot of suspense with very few things. Really, the suspense/tension really builds throughout the movie, and any scares that pop up feel earned. I also want to mention that this movie is rated R. “How is that interesting?” I hear you ask. Let me explain. Cursing? Almost none. Sex/Nudity? Mildly implied, but never shown. Blood/gore? Minimal. This is rated R based purely on how scary it is… not gonna lie, that is pretty fucking cool.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“The Conjuring” is a pretty damn good horror movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great direction. My only flaws with it (which are fairly minor) are that the beats of the movie feel very familiar, and Ron Livingston’s character feeling underdeveloped. Time for my final score. *BOO!*. My final score for “The Conjuring” is a 9,01/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it is definitely worth buying.

My review of “The Conjuring” is now completed.

There were several occurrences of 70s lingo in this and it makes me so happy.

Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

I find autopsies quite fascinating. Now, I have never witnessed an actual autopsy, so I can’t speak for what that experience would be like. But the idea of them: A dead body being cut up and examined to determine a cause of death so that some closure can be given to that case… that shit is really fascinating to me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”.

Tommy (Brian Cox) and his son, Austin (Emile Hirsch), work together in a morgue. And one night they receive the body of a mysterious Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly). So we follow Tommy and Austin and they do an autopsy on this woman, trying to figure out who she is and what might have killed her. And as they continue to examine the body, strange and disturbing things start getting revealed. And I thought the plot here was really good. I’m a sucker for a good mystery, and this movie has it. I don’t want to give too much away, because the revelations and such in this movie are best experienced on your own. But let’s just say that this plot is suspenseful, dramatic, disturbing, creepy, unpredictable, and just overall great. Had me on edge for most of the runtime.

The characters, though few, are likable and pretty interesting. Brian Cox plays Tommy, the main coroner in the morgue where the Jane Doe is being examined. He’s generally just a likable elderly man who is determined to get to the bottom of this, and Cox is great in the role. Emile Hirsch plays Cox’s son and fellow coroner, however he has a few different goals in life, but he also wants to help his dad. And Hirsch is great in the role. And kudos to Olwen Catherine Kelly who plays the titular Jane Doe. While she is just lying down the entire time, not saying a damn thing. But I still give her major cred for being willing to lie down, naked, while Cox and Hirsch examine her, with crew around all of them… kudos. There are a few more actors in the movie, but they’re not in it enough to be worth talking about (though they did do well). But yeah, this is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans and it was great. It was dark and eerie, and it really helped with building a lot of tension for a lot of scenes in this movie.

This movie was directed by Norwegian director André Øvredal and I think he did a terrific job. Not only do the shots look great, but Øvredal’s direction is very tight and tense, creating a lot of suspense and tension that is very rare in modern horror movies. And it’s also really scary, with unexplained things happening in here, combined with the previously mentioned suspenseful directing. Sure, there were some jumpscares throughout the movie. And while not a total dealbreaker for me, they did at times bug me a little bit. But the jumpscares aren’t that plenty, and this movie managed to legitimately scare me. There’s also a little bit of dark humor in here that I found funny (I know, I’m horrible), but it also worked overall for the story.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is a surprisingly great horror movie. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and it is actually scary. Time for my final score. *Cuts open envelope*. My final score for “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is a 9,65/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is now completed.

A word of advice: If you’re gonna watch this movie, go into it with an empty stomach… ’cause there’s some gruesome stuff shown here.

Series Review: American Gods – Season 1 (2017)

Adapting a novel into a movie or TV show (or even a video game) can’t be easy. Especially when it’s something so acclaimed and unique, that just puts all kinds of pressure on the people adapting it. And you can’t just make something specifically for the people who have read the source material, but you need to have it be accessible to general audiences too, which just makes the task of adapting it even more difficult.

Ladies and gentlemen… “American Gods” season 1.

After he gets released from prison, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) meets and gets employed by a man who calls himself Wednesday (Ian McShane). And they soon find themselves on a strange road trip which introduces Shadow to a different and more supernatural side of the world. And fucking hell, this show is weird. Some shows are weird just for the sake of being weird, but I feel like “American Gods” has a reason for it’s weirdness. It’s also a show that isn’t clear about it’s motivations and goals at first, which might put some people off, but if you stick with it you’ll learn more and more about the plot, world, and myhtology of the show. And what we get is quite fascinating to follow. I wouldn’t call the plot here flawless, but it’s still pretty fucking good. Weird and patience-demanding, but definitely great.

The characters in this show are all unique, extremely interesting, and really entertaining. Shadow for the most part is just a good guy who has a troubled past, and when he goes on this trip with Wednesday he has a hard time understanding a lot of the shit going on, which makes him quite relatable. And Ricky Whittle is great in the role. Wednesday as a character is kind of a con-man who seems to have some ulterior motive as to why he’s taking Shadow on this journey. And Ian McShane is fucking fantastic in the role. Emily Browning plays Shadow’s wife Laura, and I’m not gonna spoil what her purpose in the show is, but I will say that Browning is great here. Pablo Schreiber plays Mad Sweeney, a literal Leprechaun, and while his accent can be a bit off and on, his overall performance is great. We get Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, a very interesting lady (not saying how), and she’s great in the role. We get Gillian Anderson in a couple episodes as… well, it’s hard to explain without spoiling anything, so I’m just gonna say that she kills it in this show. We even get Crispin Freeman in the show giving a performance that just violates my soul and gets under my skin… yeah, he’s fucking great in a creepy way. Though he appears a surprisingly small amount of times in the show. Still, he really left an impression on me. Then to get through a few more solid ones (because there’s no bad acting here): Bruce Langley, Peter Stormare, Omid Abtahi, Orlando Jones, Cloris Leachman. Yeah, there’s plenty of cool people in this show.

The score for the show was composed by Brian Reitzell and I think he did a terrific job. The tracks take influences from all over, both from various genres and cultures which makes it a joy to listen to. There are a licensed ones as well that are used quite well. Really, this show is filled with great music.

This show was created by Bryan Fuller & Michael Green and is based on a novel by acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman. And for those not wondering, no I have not read his novel… though I might have to at some point. But what Fuller & Green managed to create with this show is pretty damn interesting. The directing (from various people) is fantastic, featuring some of the most gorgeous visuals I’ve seen in a TV show. And it’s not just great shots of normal environments and such, oh no. We get some fucking trippy shots/environments too, and it all looks amazing and perfectly fits the weird story that’s on display here. I also want to make very clear that this show is not for kids AT ALL. There’s some incredibly brutal/gory violence here, which I think perfectly fits the stylized world of “American Gods”. There’s also plenty of cursing (all the curse words), and also really graphic nudity and sex. Tits, asses, dicks, vaginas… it’s all there. So if you don’t like really graphic shows, then maybe this isn’t your cup of tea. I also love the dark sense of humor that this show has. I laugh and it probably means that I’m a horrible person… oh well.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #228 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

“American Gods” isn’t for everyone. But I kind of loved it. It has great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Amen*. My final score for “American Gods” season 1 is a 9,77/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “American Gods” season 1 is now completed.

So. Fucking. Weird.

Movie Review: Enemy (2014)

enemy-vrag-jake-gyllenhaal

 

While dumb movies can be fun, sometimes you need something that will challenge your mind and make you think. A.K.A. a mindfuck movie. And I am a guy who loves mindfuck movies. Anytime I can get my hands on a mindfuck movie, I am excited. So let’s review something that people say is a mindfuck movie.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Enemy”.

In “Enemy” we follow history teacher Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal). One day one of his colleagues recommends a movie to him. So he rents it and watches it, noticing thato ne of the actors in the movie looks just like him. So he decides to go out there, find him, talk to him and figure out what the hell is going on. And that all adds up to one of the most interesting plots I have seen ever. The plot of the movie was complex, suspenseful and incredibly well-written. I have also never said “What the fuck is going on?” this much because of any other movie plot. The plot of “Enemy” is very confusing and strange and surreal and I love it.

Jake Gyllenhaal… how could you not have won an Oscar yet!? I’m not even kidding, he is aboslutely fantastic in this movie as both of these men. There are so many parts of his performance(s) that make it fantastic. I think I am pretty justified in calling Gyllenhaal one of my favorite actors. Mélanie Laurent, who you probably know from “Inglorious Basterds”, is also great in the movie. Every actor that was in the movie was good, but Jake Gyllenhaal outshined them all… Because he is amazing.

The score for the movie was done by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans and it is one of the most eary, disturbing, creepy and bone-chilling scoresI have ever heard. It really fits the dark and eary tone of the story perfectly and really helped to keep me creeped out and even a little bit disturbed. It also kept the movie even more weird, disturbing and fucked up than it already was… fuck you guys! I love you though, great score!

This movie is directed by Denis Villenueve who also made the movie “Prisoners” which I think will stay my favorite movie of 2013. And just like that movie, he managed to create an incredibly well-directed movie. The shots look fantastic, and the cinematography is some of the most dark but still beautiful I have ever seen.  I also like how they kept it consistent in  the coloring. What kind of coloring? Bleak and grey… perfect for this type of movie. And I am gonna repeat myself, this movie is complex beyond belief. Sure, you can interpret it all you want, but it will be difficult to find a perfect interpretation of it. Just don’t expect me to analyze and interpret it, I’m not smart enough to be able to do that.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“Enemy” is a strange movie. I mean, it’s really fucking weird. But I do also think that the story is suspenseful & excellent, the acting is spectacular, the score is fantastic, the direction/camera work is great and I just felt like this was pretty great. Time for my final score. AH, SPIDER! *SQUISH*. My final score for “Enemy” is a 9,87/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

 

“Enemy” is now reviewed.

Villeneuve… come at me, bro.

Movie Review: Donnie Darko (2001)

021110202029donnie-darko-wallpaper_2
Mindfuck stories! I love them. Mainly because they make you think. That is why I am such a fan of stuff like “Matrix” and “Inception”. But if you don’t like watching these types of movies because you have to use your brain for once, then you have nothing to be here for. Seriously, shoo! Go away! But you other people, you can stay. Today we are taking a look at a movie that is a mindfuck but also a cult classic.

Bunnies and Rabbits…”Donnie Darko”.

The story of the movie follows young man (high school student) Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal, also roll credits). He lives with his father (Holmes Osborne), his mother (Mary McDonnell), his older sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal, irony) and his younger sister (Daveigh Chase). Donnie is for the most part a normal guy. Except for the fact that he has a tendency to sleepwalk quite a long distance from his house. But one night when a jet engine suddenly bursts through his room (while he’s out because of sleepwalking) he then starts having visions of this large, creepy rabbit named Frank (James Duval). Frank makes Donnie lose touch with reality and commit crimes. Thing is…only Donnie can see him and he doesn’t know where he comes from. And that is where I stop because otherwise I will get into spoilers. This story is like I previously said…a mindfuck. It is complex, weird and…yeah, weird. That is really all that can be said. It is not your typical run-of-the-mill mindfuck. This is one that stands out in the crowd like a large, creepy rabbit at a carneval. This movie makes “Fight Club” look normal! Yeah, achieving that is pretty big in itself. But still, I really liked the complex story…worth thinking about.

The characters…ah yes. No one is normal really in this movie (Except maybe Donnie’s science teacher, played by Noah Wyle). Which makes them really interesting to watch. One thing that also makes them interesting to watch is that they are played by actors who know what the hell they’re doing. I especially felt invested in the character of Donnie, not only was his character very well-written, but Jake Gyllenhaal does one hell of a job playing him…he was excellent. But in general…every character was interesting in one way or another. But Frank creeps me out…a whole lot.

The music…creepy. That is all you need to know. Okay, that wasn’t really fair to you, but I don’t know what to say. It is creepy and cold…kind of like the overall tone of the movie. It fits perfectly for the overall creepiness of the entire movie. And the end theme…the song they play during the final scene…I love that song. I had heard it prior to seeing the movie…but hearing it in the movie made me so happy. Not gonna spoil the scene itself…just saying…search “Gary Jules – Mad World”…you’ll see why I love it and think it’s so beautiful.

The camera work in the movie is excellent. It looks incredibly good and always makes a scene interesting. Richard Kelly did a great job with it. Also…what kind of sick motherfucker would come up with the design of Frank…it is terrifying…STOP!

Now for the reception “Donnie Darko” got. It was overall good reception. It first debuted on the Sundance Film Festival and got a lot of praise there. Then it came to regular cinemas and got even more praise there. Rotten Tomatoes has a “Fresh” cerftification and an 85% positive rating for it. Metacritic has 71/100 as their score for it. Fun thing: Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars in his original review  but raised it to 3/4 stars on his review of the director’s cut version 3 years later. And imdb.com has the score of 8,1/10 for it and has it ranked #193 on the Top 250 list.

My opinions on a few aspects of the movie are given. It is clever, complex and creepy (The 3 C’s). My final score is a 9,56/10 and a recommendation to buy in combination with the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
49920178
I thoroughly enjoyed “Donnie Darko” and highly recommend it.

Review of “Donnie Darko” is completed.

Still can’t believe I found a movie that makes “Fight Club” look normal.