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!

Series Review: Constantine – Season 1 (2014 – 2015)

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Whenever you find a good show you want it to go on for quite some time, right? Well that is something that happens to me every now and then. I find a show that maybe has one (or more) seasons and I think “Man, this is great, keep this going!”. Unfortunately continuations don’t always happen and that saddens me. This is such a time. The only reason I am reviewing this is because there is a chance it won’t get a second season. I otherwise want to review a show if it is finished and I have finished every episode. So let’s have a look.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Constantine”!

This show is based on the “Hellblazer” comics and is about protagonist John Constantine (Matt Ryan). He is an exorcist/demonologist/master of the dark arts. After he went into hiding after a major fuck up he has to come back out as a darkness is coming in towards the world. But he isn’t operatingn alone, oh no! He will try to save the world with his old friend and driver Chas (Charles Halford) and his newly found friend and psychic Zed (Angélica Celaya). There is also an angel by the name of Manny (Harold Perrineau, also fucking really?). Of course the layout isn’t only main story of John and friends taking on this huge darkness. The show follows a sort of “Freak of the week” format where every episode(ish) they have to face a new smaller supernatural threat. Now that has been the complaint done by some people as it doesn’t benefit the narrative structure 100%, and I can get behind that argument. But I still enjoyed it. It was fun and great seeing John and the others take care of every supernatural problem they encounter. I liked the plot.

The characters in the show all have good personalities and are all very interesting. Let’s start off with our main man, Constantine (roll credits). He is a careless, witty, cool, asshole. But that is how I like him and Matt Ryan portrays that so well. What I also like is that Constantine isn’t an action hero in this unlike in that movie with Keanu Reeves (Sidenote: The movie is enjoyable). In this show he is vulnerable, believe me, he can take care of himself but he isn’t like this ultra badass action dude. That is why I like him, he is relatable. It is also fun having Captain Edward Kenway (Sidenote: “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag” reference) playing this awesome character. Next up is Chas, John’s best friend and driver… in a taxi. I am not going to spoil the cool thing about Chas here as you find out in the first episode and as it is the coolest shit ever. Sure, he isn’t AS prominent as John but he is still a valuable asset to the show. What you like about him is that he is the calm and collected center who sort of balances out the weird that is John Constantine. Also, whenever he gets angry he explodes and it is glorious especially since Charles Halford has such a powerful voice. And finally we have Zed, a psychic who helps John with her visions that usually help the gang to determine where to go next. What I like about her is like Chas, she is a good balance to John and his shenanigans. She is also a tough lady who can take care of herself when she needs to but she still keeps a kind of vulnerable and almost innocent aura about her. Overall the characters of “Constantine” are all great and really well-acted.

The score was done by acclaimed composer Bear McCreary (Walking Dead, Battlestar Galactica). And I think it works perfectly. You get what you’d expect from a horror-themed fantasy show. A lot of suspenseful tracks with a lot of epic tracks as well when they are needed. I also noticed there is a good usage of like a keyboard or organ or something, I don’t fucking know what it is but it sounds awesome! You can hear it mostly in the theme tune of the show which I would call a great theme tune. The music in the show is great.

The visual effects in this show are pretty great. They are really well done and look truly horrific and badass and awesome. The same can be said for how they did with the camera work. It looks great with excellent cinematography. There is a fair amount of use of the “Dutch angle” (Sidenote: Dutch angle means you film it at a circa 45 degree angle). They did it excellently in the scenes where it was used and it fit the scenes perfectly unlike that piece of shit called “Battlefield Earth”.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception to say the least. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating. Metacritic once again has the lowest score with a score of 53/100. And on imdb the show has a score of 7,7/10.

“Constantine” is one of the best fantasy shows of recent years. Sure, the narrative style will divide audiences but the plot and individual episodes are all great. The acting is really good, the writing is great with one moment in the show almost tearing me up, the score is excellent and everything about the visuals is just fantastic. Time for my final score. O potens ultima signant, venit ad me! My final score for “Constantine” season 1 (Or “Constantine” in general if there is no season 2) is a 9,88/10. I absolutely loved this show and I will give it my “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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Review of “Constantine” is completed.

Just a minute more guys, I really want this show to go on and get more seasons so I would appreciate it if you could sign this petition to help maybe get it continued, thank you! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-constantine

Series Review: Black Books (2000 – 2004)

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I don’t only watch movies. I do love me some good ol’ television every now and then. The only thing that has kept me from reviewing television shows on the blog is because they take longer than movies. Movies are usually two hours contained in one sitting. Shows are multiple episodes in one season or more. And therefore they take longer. So I am happy to finally be able to present my first real review of a TV-show. And it is an easy enough start considering it is a comedy.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Black Books”!

This show is about Bernard Black (Dylan Moran). The guy is a cynical, often drunk owner of a bookshop. The irony of him owning the shop is because he doesn’t want to sell anything since it means he have to order in new books. Next door there is a gift shop run by his friend Fran (Tamsin Greig). One day when Bernard’s accountant leaves him he has to find a new guy to work for him. So one day he pretty much on the spot employs Manny (Bill Bailey). And from ther on the show goes on. Now the set-up for the show is simple, that is how a comedy should be. You don’t need a dark, complex and ingenius plot like in a lot of HBO shows. But anyway, the basics are good and the small self-contained stories within the episodes are incredibly entertaining. I am not going to go through every episode one by one and explain the plots of those because not only would it break my “no spoiler” rule, but this post would become too long. But let me just say that the majority of the episodes are fucking hilarious.

The characters (like any comedy) are the things that drive the series. All of them are broken people who are nothing short of insane or weird… and that is why I love them. I am a huge fan of Dylan Moran as Bernard, the guy is jsut despicable as a human being and just gives some of the best lines in the entire series, in any show ever even. Manny is also great. I almost get the feeling he is the most normal character in the show. He is the glue that holds the planks together. Problem is though that the glue is expired… but it still kinda works. And Fran, I don’t know what to make of her. Seriously. Not saying she is a bad character, I am just saying that I can’t give a separate description for her. But all of the characters in the show are interesting in one way or another.

The music is few and far between. There isn’t that much variety in it. But with that said, the little music that is in the show is pretty good. For the most part it is a jingle which is a shortened version of the main theme/opening theme of the show. And the song is as weird and broken as the characters in the show, so I think it works. I’ll leave a link here so you can listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7MQh5Yo4RU

What is there to say here? The locations and camera work in the show are very limited and often contained within one or two areas. So it is average I suppose. Not bad, just… average. The comedy in the the show is fucking genius. that is all I can say. Oh, also it only got three seasons with six episodes in each. So it is pretty short.

How has this show been received? Well since it is a show it will not have all the same sites as I usually link. But I can give you a little. On Metacritic it has an 8,7/10. And on imdb.com it has an 8,6/10. And those were the only major sites I could check on really.

“Black Books” got a good set-up, great characters, fantastically genius comedy and is easy to just binge-watch. I am sure you will get quite a few laughs from this show. So now I will hand out my final score. “Black Books” gets my final score of 9,71/10 which grants it… the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Black Books” is now reviewed.

First real TV-show review… I feel good about this.