Documentary Review – Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl (2020)

Directed By: Amy Goldstein
Running time: 89 minutes

If you already love Kate Nash, you don’t need to read this review. Ignore what I think and immediately go stream “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl” because it was made for you. The documentary is partly a digital year-book covering the first half of Nash’s career and partly an explanation of the creative and logistical battles that she fought as an artist. There are also some very fun lyric videos interspersed throughout the film, which I am certain you will love. Like I said, this movie was made for you, you will love it, go watch it.

If, on the other hand, you do not love Kate Nash or know who she is, I’d say you have a 50/50 chance of liking this movie. There is very little narrative direction in the first half of the film and the second half is a decade’s worth of Nash’s frustrations with the music industry. A large majority of the narration is done with video clips of Nash over the last decade, which makes the movie feel more like a journal than a documentary. Which, again, is great if you are already a fan.

Photo credit: Carolina Faruolo

For the unfamiliar, Kate Nash is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress. She rocketed into the limelight around 2008 when her single Foundations hit number two on the charts. Her first album was a solid pop album, but when she tried to shift her sound to punk rock she ran into issues with her record label and they eventually dropped her. Nash has put out four albums and toured consistently. She is not a Beyoncé (I mean, there can only be one), but she is successful: she has built a loyal following, tours consistently, and is currently a part of the core ensemble for the Netflix series GLOW.

With all that in mind, this documentary is going to ask you to consider Nash an underdog, which is its fatal flaw. The first half of the movie loosely describes Nash’s early career. She dealt with terrible hate mail, was exhausted by her grueling debut tour, but came out of the experience determined to empower girls and young women to pursue their mutual love: making music. However, rather than focusing on any of this, the movie instead introduces its recurring theme: Nash cannot make the music that she wants to because her record label cannot handle it. “Record labels don’t like shouting,” she explains at one point, “I think it sounds cool. I’m into, like, punk music and rock music.”

Photo credit: Anouchka Van Riel

Halfway through the documentary we find the other chip on Nash’s shoulder, which is arguably the worse of the two. Her manager stole enough money from her that she is in danger of bankruptcy. Nash sues him and, while she is trying to get that money back, she hits a personal rock bottom. This is where the movie really lost me. For Nash “rock bottom” means moving to a smaller (but still nice) house, selling several garbage bags full of her clothes, and wondering if she’ll need to get a real job. “I don’t know how to make money outside of being on tour or making a record,” she says.

Spoilers: she does not have to get a real job.

To be clear, it is terrible that Nash almost went bankrupt. Her manager’s theft is a disgusting breach of trust and it makes sense that Nash was traumatized by the experience. She almost won me over when she admits of her situation: “It’s not that bad. I’m healthy. I’m alive. I’m on this planet,” sarcasm tinged her voice for a moment, but she finishes sincerely enough, “I have a dog. I have good friends. I have music. So. What more do you need than that, really? There’s a million other people out there that have it worse than I do.”

The problem is that even if she knows that that is true, she never acts like she thinks that is true. She worries about getting a job in a café and being recognized and shortly thereafter accepts a job hosting a geeky shopping show. Even though this gig is career-adjacent to her then-stated goal of becoming an actress, her misery is scrawled so clearly over her face that the scene is painful to watch.

Photo credit: Kelsey Hart

This documentary could have been great if we had heard from more voices and if it had stuck a different overall tone (just a little less “Woe is I”). I mean, come on. There is theft, there is feminism, there is a singer so idealistic that she spent her own money to support the programs for the girls she was coaxing into the music industry, there were so. many. amazing. outfits. And, aside from a couple weird choices (why would you do a rack focus between an empty foreground and the subject of your interview? why did we listen to her drummer read a benign text from her mother after a show?), the movie is beautifully put together.

But the takeaway from this movie is that life has thrown Nash a couple curveballs and she prevailed. The movie closes with Nash, now a multimillionaire, telling us that when she moved to LA she wanted to make a lot of money, but after losing everything (she leaves out the that she recently released a new album and landed a recurring role on a lucrative television show) she has realized that it’s not about the money: it’s about the art.

Again, If you are a hardcore Kate Nash fan, I think you will enjoy this film in spite of everything I’ve said here, but as someone who went into the documentary without a base-level fondness for her, I found it tone deaf, self-indulgent, and tedious.


This film is now available on Alamo On Demand
with apps for iOS and Android coming very soon.


Have you seen this Kate Nash documentary? Well, what did you think? 

FlixChatter Review: DEERSKIN (2020)

If you look at the review quotes all over this poster, calling it ‘demented,’ ‘bat-shit crazy’ ‘unhinged’ … well in many ways this French film lives up to those descriptions. I was curious to see this because I had heard of Quentin Dupieux‘s 2010 film Rubber, which is about a homicidal car tire. This time, it’s another inanimate object that seemingly has supernatural power to wreak havoc on those who came into contact with it.

This horror comedy stars Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin, who most people know in The Artist, as a middle-aged, recently-divorced man. Right from the start when he frantically got rid of his corduroy jacket at a gas station–in a wholly stupid & irresponsible manner–we know Georges is suffering from a mental breakdown. He then visits a friend where he impulsively buys a vintage fringed deerskin jacket, and after paying a huge sum of money (too much I’d say for a used jacket that isn’t even in style anymore), he was given a digital video recorder as a bonus. He then drove to a sleepy French alpine village and took residence in a motel.

And so it begins… Georges’ descend into madness. He starts talking to the jacket, taking endless videos of it, and displaying all kinds of weird, obsessive behavior. It made me think of how actors often say that once they put on a costume for a role, that’s when they feel like can inhabit their character fully, and perhaps they’d even feel invincible, like they found a new purpose in life. In the case of Georges, this aimless man is possessed by the jacket in a truly bizarre way. There’s definitely a streak of toxic masculinity, as he walks around feeling like he’s the bee’s knees with his new killer style. He came up with with a crazy mission that he wants to be the only person in the world to wear a jacket, which gets more and more extreme as the film progresses.

I’ve seen Dujardin only in half a dozen projects, and he usually portrayed a slick, charming gentleman with a gregarious personality. Interesting to see him in a much more subdued, even deadpan performance, barely flashing his mega-toothed smile. The film didn’t really kicked into gear until he meets Denise, played Adèle Haenel (recently seen in Portrait of a Lady on Fire), a waitress with great aspiration as an editor. Somehow Georges managed to convince Denise that he’s an indie filmmaker who’s being abandoned by his producers in Siberia. Not only that, he even got to make her feel sorry for him that she’s willing to fund his film AND also edit it!

The whole filmmaking aspect of the story is quite amusing and surreal. There’s one memorable scene where Denise grills Georges about his film and what it’s about. He can’t come up with a real concrete idea (naturally, as he just makes stuff up as he goes along), and it’s Denise who plants a brilliant idea in his head.

Amidst all the absurdities however, the performances of the two leads, managed to hold my attention. Their relationship surprisingly isn’t salacious, but it’s definitely unsettling. I find it intriguing to see a constant shift between them as to who is actually in control. At first I thought Denise has fallen prey to Georges, but as she continues to remain committed to his film project, I wonder if she knows more than she let on. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but trying to figure out her character and whether she has her own agenda proves to be increasingly more suspenseful to me as Georges’ deranged behavior gets more and more gruesome.

I’m not a horror movie fan, but I’m sure fans of the genre notice some nods to serial killer movies like Halloween or Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the way some of the violent scenes were filmed. Yet there’s an alarming nonchalant, devil-may-care attitude that Georges displays that makes it absurdly comical. He might as well has his whole face covered up like those famous horror characters as he barely displays any emotion.

Deerskin is certainly a weird movie, but reading about some of Dupieux’s previous work, this one seems to be the most accessible. The ending still manages to surprise me, despite the fact that it followed a horror genre trope. I don’t know if I’d necessarily recommend this movie to casual moviegoers, I feel like Dupieux’s movies are an acquired taste. I’m glad I saw this one and it was entertaining enough for reasons I’ve mentioned above, yet I don’t know that I’d be clamoring to see his other movies.


DEERSKIN OFFICIAL WEBSITE


Have you seen DEERSKIN or Dupieux’s other films? I’d love to hear what you think!

Musings on Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind documentary

I’ve subscribed to HBO for a month so I could watch season 3 of Westworld. Well, I finished on Friday night and this documentary’s key art on the HBO’s interface and decided to watch it.

The film began with the narration of Natalie Wood‘s own daughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, who was only 11 years old when her mother died, saying that so much has been written about her mother’s mysterious death that it practically overshadowed who she was as a person. I think that’s a real tragedy because as I was watching the film, I learned just how accomplished she was as an actress.

Now, I personally wasn’t at all familiar with the legendary performer. I’ve only seen one of her films, Rebel Without A Cause, but news about her death surely hasn’t let up for decades. Even though I haven’t read up much about it, I did remember reading about her case being reopened as late as 2018!

Wood’s husband at the time of her death, Robert Wagner (known as RJ to those close to him), was never charged but was still a ‘person of interest’ in the case. But before we got to that case, the first two acts pretty much focused on Natalie’s story since childhood, born to Russian immigrants, and how she got discovered. She was one of the most accomplished child actors who’ve made a successful transition as a formidable Hollywood star. She began acting at the age of 4, got her first starring role at the age of 9 in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and received three Oscar nominations before she was 25.

It was really fascinating and moving to see all the archival footage and photos of Wood in various productions, from the not-so-well-known films to the iconic ones such as ‘Rebel’ and West Side Story. Interesting that one of the people interviewed said if she were alive today, she would’ve never gotten the role that made her famous as she played a Puerto Rican character in the famous musical. One thing for sure, Natalie Wood is much more than just a pretty face. Though she was definitely one of the most beautiful Hollywood stars, in her home life she’s shown as down to earth and a dotting mom. She was also intelligent and ambitious, and wanted to take charge of her career. One photo that strikes me the most is this one of her in a film board meeting sitting confidently at a table surrounded by all-male studio honchos. It’s definitely not the kind of photo I often associated with Natalie Wood, who’s often painted as a victim. So it’s good for her daughter to show the world a different side of her late mother.

Now, the third act did address her mysterious death. It’s the huge elephant in the room that everyone expects to be covered in the film. The one-on-one interview between Natasha and her stepfather RJ is no doubt the most emotional moments of the film, both of them looked quite emotional talking about her death. Robert himself was quite candid when talking about their careers. Though he was more famous when they first met, soon her career far outpaced Robert’s, which became a strain to her marriage. Even Robert himself admitted to being so jealous when, after their first marriage ended, she started dating her Splendor in the Grass‘ co-star Warren Beatty. But never did the film ever paint Robert as the guilty party in her death. If anything, it showed how much Natalie loved him and vice versa. I learned that she ended up marrying him twice after both had remarried after their divorce.

It’s clear that from Natasha’s and the doc’s director Laurent Bouzereau‘s perspective, Wood’s death was a tragic accident. Natasha and her younger sister Courtney even said that it’s hurtful to them that the media, and Natalie’s sister Lana Wood, constantly pointed their finger at their stepdad RJ. That fateful night started with RJ having an argument with Natalie’s co-star in her last film Brainstorm, Christopher Walken, but then RJ couldn’t find her, which led to him instigating a search involving the coast guards, etc. But even with the film covering some of the details about that fateful night, we’re still left in the dark about what happened to Natalie. We probably will never know the real truth, only Natalie would know… as Walken himself said at the end.

It’s definitely an intriguing documentary for film fans, especially if you’re a fan of her work. Given it’s produced by her own daughter, it feels personal and full of heart. I’m never bored in the entire 99-minute running time as the film seamlessly combines archival footage and talking heads featuring the who’s who of classic cinema: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, George Hamilton, Elliot Gould, etc. There are also a myriad of photos and clips from her family, as well as those of her famous parties featuring famous Hollywood guests. I mean, according to IMDb, the pallbearers at her funeral were Rock Hudson, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Olivier, Elia Kazan, Gregory Peck, David Niven and Fred Astaire.

I’m glad I watched this beautiful tribute to a legend that’s equally fascinating and heart-wrenching. I can’t help feeling sad as I’m watching it… Natalie Wood was such a stunning bright star who left us far too soon. I’m glad I got to see just how much she meant to her family as well as her legacy in the film world.

4/5 stars


Have you seen this documentary? What are some of your favorite film(s) of Natalie Wood?

FlixChatter Review – ARKANSAS (2020)

Directed by: Clark Duke
Written by:
Clark Duke and Andrew Boonkrong 
Cast:
Liam Hemsworth, Clark Duke, Michael Kenneth Williams,
Vivica A. Fox, John Malkovich, Vince Vaughn

Crime thriller is one of my favorite genres and I’ve seen countless films and TV shows based on the Italian mobs and drug cartels in South America. But there aren’t many films about the crime lords in the Southern States of America. Arkansas is a new film that tells the story of low-level crime syndicate in the deep south. It has the same spirit as some of Quentin Tarantino’s and The Coen Brothers’ crime films.

Just like Tarantino’s films, Arkansas breaks its story into chapters. In chapter 1, we meet two low level drug dealers named Kyle (Liam Hemsworth) and Swin (Clark Duke). They’ve been assigned by their boss named Frog (Vince Vaughn) to move drugs into a new location. On their way to their destination, they ran into a park ranger named Bright (John Malkovich) who ordered them to follow him to his home. Bright tells them that he’s actually their new boss, this is the order from their big boss Frog. Under Bright’s orders, the Kyle and Swin must do the drug dealings in the southern state areas such as Alabama, Louisiana and Georgia. While out to do their business one day, Swin met a pretty young nurse named Johanna (Eden Brolin). Kyle warns Swin to not get involved with anyone who might disrupt their rise to power in the syndicate but Swin fell for Johanna and the two became an item. After a drug deal with one of their contacts went wrong, Kyle and Swin must figure out ways to stay alive and keep Frog happy. In the next chapter, we get to see how Frog rose to become one of the biggest crime lords in the south. As anyone who’ve seen Tarantino’s films, you’ll eventually see how things will tie together and culminate in a violent ending.

Based on John Brandon‘s best-selling book of the same name, the screenplay was written by Andrew Boonkrong and Clark Duke, the latter also directed the picture. I’ve never read the novel but this is a well written screenplay and I really enjoyed the dialog from each of the characters, but I wish they didn’t try to copy too much from Tarantino’s films. There’s so much good material to be told in a new way but Boonkrong and Duke decided to structure the story that’s been done too many times before. Maybe another round of rewrite by an experienced writer could’ve made the script even better. Some of the characters needs to flesh out a bit more.

This is Duke’s debut film and I was surprised that the producers actually let him direct it. He didn’t do a bad job of directing this film, he just copied style from other more experienced and talented directors. Maybe Duke’s skills will grow as a director with more experience, but I think this one should’ve been directed by someone else. I believe that with a script this good, a more polished and experienced director could’ve elevated it to an excellent picture. This is a material meant for talented directors like David Fincher, Chan-wook Park or Bong Joon Ho.

Clark Duke with Liam Hemsworth

Performances by the actors were pretty good, I’m still not sold on Liam Hemsworth as a leading man material and unfortunately, he didn’t convince me in this film. It’s probably not fault since his character needs to be flesh out a bit more. For a lead character, we don’t really know much about him. Also, his southern accent wasn’t convincing at all. Duke wrote himself a better role and he’s more of the comic relief character and kind of sympathetic one too. Even though he has smaller screen time, Malkovich was a hoot as the small time crime boss. The most well thought out character in the film is Vaughn’s Frog, heck he’s actually the main character of the story. Vaughn gave one of his best performances here, but his southern accent needed a little work. Unfortunately, the two female characters in the film didn’t really have much to do. Johanna is an interesting character and I wanted to know more about her, but she ended up just being the love interest. Same with Vivica A. Fox’s Her, she has history with Frog and the script should’ve expanded on their relationship.

Despite by quibbles, I still think it’s a good crime thriller. If you’re a fan of QT’s or The Coen Brothers’ thrillers, then you’ll enjoy this one. I just think it could’ve been an excellent film with a more polished script and talented director behind the cameras.

3/5 stars

TedS_post


So have you seen ARKANSAS? Well, what did you think?

FlixChatter Review – THE BOOKSELLERS documentary(2019)

Directed by: D.W. Young

Ruth asked me to cover The Booksellers because she knew I was a bookworm, and she’s not wrong. I majored in English because I love reading; the most memorable part of my first date with my boyfriend was browsing Mager’s and Quinn’s discount corner; and my regular visits to Winona aren’t complete without visiting Chapter 2 Books and scouring their densely packed shelves. But my love of books doesn’t compare with the sellers and collectors featured in this beautiful documentary.

The Booksellers is a documentary exploring New York’s book world, from the history and importance of its independent bookstores to a collection of passionate book collectors. The film discusses the practice of book selling and collecting, the future of the printed word, and how the changing times has affected the bookselling industry, and how there is still progress to be made.

Much of the documentary focuses on how technology-specifically, the internet-has affected booksellers. One collector noted that in the 50’s, there were 378 bookstores in NYC; as of the time this was filmed, there were 79. Before the rise of the internet, sellers would scour estate sales and church basement sales to find rare books for their stores. Once it became easier to find rare books online with decreased prices, independent booksellers suffered. Dwindling bookstores are leading to fewer book collectors, as used bookstores are often the introduction to budding enthusiasts. The fact that the world of bookselling hasn’t been particularly welcoming to women or people of color doesn’t help either; even today, only about 15% of independent booksellers are women, and while the number of people of color in the industry has increased, the field still isn’t very diverse.

That’s not to say the world of book collecting isn’t still very active. This documentary is full of people who are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about rare books, and it’s not just about collecting for the sake of collection. One comment that particularly struck me was that “books are not trophies;” people who collect rare books differ from people who collect art because they usually have a deeply personal connection to the books they buy, whereas art collectors are often more in it as a display of wealth. To view a piece of expensive art someone has feels more like a statement that they have it and no one else does, whereas viewing a rare book in a collection feels like an invitation into the collector’s world.

The documentary itself is a little scattered and unstructured, especially for its over an hour and a half length, and it can feel a little dry in some parts, but it’s still clearly a labor of love. The Booksellers will make you want to run out to your nearest used bookstore (once it’s safe to go out again) and spend a few hours browsing the comfortable, dusty shelves to find something that speaks to you.

laura_review


Have you seen THE BOOKSELLERS? Let us know what you think!

Star Trek: Picard – Binge-worthy for non-Trekkie like me

I wouldn’t call myself a Trekkie, in fact, I have not seen any of the TV series, whether the original with Captain Kirk & co, or the later versions with Jean-Luc Picard. I did enjoy latest Star Trek movies by J.J. Abrams starring Chris Pine as Capt. Kirk, but honestly I barely remember them now. Well, thanks to Sir Patrick Stewart, who’s one of the executive producers of the show, he announced via Twitter a month ago that we could watch season 1 FREE on CBS All Access for a month with the code GIFT (which has expired on April 23)

I’ve been curious about this show, so my hubby and I decided to give it a shot. I’m sure glad we did.

Follow-up series to Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) that centers on Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) in the next chapter of his life.

I have to say I’m hooked immediately and we binged the entire season 1 this weekend. I’m not reviewing this in details, I’m just sharing my general thoughts on the series as a whole.

The show is set in 2399, 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis (which I haven’t seen but now might watch it because apparently Tom Hardy plays his cloned nemesis!), with Sir Stewart reprising his iconic role, admiral Jean-Luc Picard, now retired and living in his Château Picard vineyard in France. I’ve always been a fan of this distinguished British thespian, and he’s obviously perfect in the role he’s become world famous for. I’m always intrigued by shows/films that take the same character but place them in a different circumstance where they have to navigate the new reality and challenges in a whole new way.

Per IMDb, Stewart cites his previous film Logan (2017) as an influence on the show, pointing out that in both features the characters are still the same but their world has changed and they have to adjust to these changes. He said that film encouraged him to attempt something different with his role.

As the season starts, it’s apparent that Jean-Luc is still deeply affected by the loss of his personal friend, Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner). Jean-Luc recalled that Data gave his life up to save him upon the destruction of Romulus. That storyline is immediately intriguing to me, especially once a mysterious young woman named Dahj (Isa Briones) shows up, which launches Jean-Luc into the next adventure of his life. It took me a while to warm up to newcomer Briones who plays multiple characters in the show, but she certainly has a unique, almost otherworldly look that’s perfect for those roles.

The United Federation of Planets, the multi-planetary government Jean-Luc was once loyal to, is portrayed in a negative light. I find that as a pretty bold move to drastically change the reality of the Star Trek universe, but it inherently creates dramatic tension for the characters when nothing is no longer how they remembered it. The Romulan refugee crisis, prejudices across races/species, and some of the socio-political scenes depicted in the show certainly has some eerie similarities to what’s going on in the world today. Stewart has been quoted here saying that Picard is him ‘responding to the world of Brexit and Trump.’

Picard is also a reunion story in a way, as the show does reunite the protagonist with some characters from his previous life aboard the USS Enterprise.  In fact, one of my favorite episodes is the one with Commander Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) who’s now living a peaceful life with his wife, former Starleet member Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis).

Stewart with Jonathan Frakes

The show took some time to get Jean-Luc back on a ship with a new ragtag crew. Sometimes it feels like the earlier episodes where he rounded up a new crew for his new adventure drag a bit. I have to admit though that the cast work pretty well, and each of them get a decent amount of screen time and backstory. It’s been ages since I saw Santiago Cabrera (who was in Heroes a decade ago) but he’s proven to be a really good character actor. Not only is Rios a dashing captain with a devil-may-care smile a la Han Solo, but he’s got multiple holograms with different personalities (and accents!) that’d show up in certain moments, sometimes against against his own wishes. I think he plays the various holographic personas brilliantly and often provide the show’s comic relief.

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The main theme of the show ultimately is about organic species versus artificial lifeforms (or synth). I’m always drawn to shows the struggle of humans vs robots co-existing and forming an unlikely bond, but the way this show explores it is a bit uneven. One of my biggest beef about this show is the Romulan siblings Narek and Narissa, played by Harry Treadaway and Peyton List. I feel like every time they appear, especially together, it takes the fun out of the show with their scheming melodrama. As the main villains of the show, their sheer hatred against AI as they plot to get the Federation to ban the creation of artificial lifeforms, is key to the show. I wish their scenes are more intriguing, but a lot of it is pretty cringe-worthy.

Spoiler alert: [highlight to read] Another character that takes me out of the show is the third character that Isa Briones portrayed, which is the closest incarnation to her ‘father’ Data, so she looks most like him with yellow eyes. Now, somehow her outfit and makeup makes me scream Rihanna! That certainly isn’t what the creators intended but there ya go, I think that’s also one of the weakest parts of the finale.

In fact, the antagonists aren’t particularly strong in this show overall. I mean, Vulcan Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) came across pretty menacing initially, but in the end the way she’s portrayed was just meh. It’s a pity as I like Tomita as an actress, and she was much more memorable in The Man in The High Castle which I just finished recently. I think the weak adversaries in this show keep it from being truly great.

Fortunately, the show does boast a great cast. Obviously Stewart himself is the best actor on the show by a long shot, but all the returning cast-members from the Star Trek Universe are great to watch. I have to say Jeri Ryan‘s Seven of Nine and Jonathan Del Arco‘s Hugh, both are former Borgs, are particularly memorable.

As a non-Trekkie, this show definitely makes me understand why people have such tremendous love for this franchise. I read that many people loathe the finale, which I think feels too bombastic and crammed with SO much stuff that it’s impossible to resolve everything nicely. Now, die-hard fans probably have issues with that ending concerning Picard’s identity that I won’t spoil it here. I do think the last 10 minutes has some really poignant moments… it marks the end for a central, beloved character in a touching way, but yet feels hopeful instead of morose. The writing of the show, led by Akiva Goldsman, sure has its moments but can also be clunky at times. I guess the same could be said for his career, who could forget the awfulness of Winter’s Tale? [shudder].

Visually the show looks beautiful, despite the DP’s obsession with lens flares, didn’t he get the memo that JJ Abrams got tons of flak (rightly so) for using too much of it on the Star Trek movie and has even apologized for it? Oh and I have to mention the gorgeous score by Jeff Russo, it’s definitely one of my fave parts of the show. I quite like the main title sequence too.

So overall, the show is pretty enjoyable despite its flaws. Once I started watching I couldn’t stop, so to me it’s definitely binge-worthy. I’m glad I decided to watch it while it was available for free (I don’t have cable, so I’d have to pay to see this on CBS All Access). I heard this show’s been renewed, so I’ll be up for watching season 2!


Have you seen Star Trek: Picard? Well, what did YOU think?

BEST OF THE DECADE: 20 Best Soundtracks of the 2010s

Happy #NationalFilmScoreDay!

How fitting that I have this list on my draft folder, and it’s definitely the perfect day to post the film score edition of my Best of the Decade list. Soundtracks is one of my all time fave music genres and there’s been soundtracks done in the past ten years that’ve become my all time favorites.

For the most part, these are instrumental scores, though in a couple of cases, the soundtracks are composed of songs by various artists, i.e. The Greatest Showman, so I’m posting my fave song of the soundtrack. Just like my best-of-decade, there are a few on my list from the same composer, i.e. Hans Zimmer and Henry Jackman. Some of these highlight my favorite track, but some are picked at random as I generally enjoy the entire soundtrack.

So without further ado, here are my picks in the order of the film’s year of release:

How to Train Your Dragon (2010) – John Powell

Inception (2010) – Hans Zimmer

TRON: Legacy (2010) – Daft Punk

X-Men: First Class (2011) – Henry Jackman

Skyfall (2012) – Thomas Newman

Belle (2013) – Rachel Portman

Gravity (2013) – Steven Price

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Henry Jackman

Interstellar (2014) – Hans Zimmer

Age Of Adaline (2015) – Rob Simonsen

Cinderella (2015) – Patrick Doyle

Far From The Madding Crowd (2015) – Craig Armstrong

Mad Max Fury Road (2015) – Junkie XL

Sicario (2015) Jóhann Jóhannsson

La La Land (2016) – Justin Hurwitz

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016) – Fernando Velázquez

Sing Street (2016) – Various

Performed by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Composed by Gary Clark (of Danny Wilson band)

The Greatest Showman (2017) – John Debney + Joseph Trapanese (score), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (songs)

Performed by Michelle Williams
Composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Black Panther (2018) – Ludwig Göransson

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) – Various

Performed by: Lily James
Composed by: ABBA


Hope you enjoy my list. Now it’s your turn, what’s some of your favorite soundtracks of the past decade?