Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy almost Friday! It’s TMP time! The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… Police Detective.

Well, there are SO many to choose from as Hollywood loves procedural movies! But there are a few that stood out to me from movies as well as TV. In fact, I’ve rewatched most of these recently and they’re still fun to watch.

In any case, here are my picks:

HOT FUZZ

One of my favorite action comedy!! Edgar Wright is basically doing a spoof and homage to American buddy action movies like Bad Boys, in fact there’s a scene of them watching that movie! Seeing Simon Pegg as a goody two shoes policeman (hence his name is Nicholas Angel) is such a hoot!! Any movie w/ Pegg + his BFF Nick Frost is always fun. Plus there’s Timothy Dalton as the villain, so perfect!!

Fun Trivia:
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright interviewed many real police officers while doing research for the film. Many lines in the film such as “I prefer to think my office is out on the street” came directly from those interviews. The stylized scenes of Nick doing paperwork were inspired by the officers noting that paperwork is a huge part of the job, but it is never depicted in cop shows and films.


SLEEPY HOLLOW

I just rewatched this a few months ago as I’ve forgotten quite a bit of it since I first saw this a while ago. I actually enjoyed it more than I did the first time, perhaps my fave Tim Burton film. Johnny Depp is fun to watch as the rather bumbling Ichabod, probably one of my fave roles of his.

Fun Trivia:
Historically, Ichabod Crane was a very unattractive man. Johnny Depp offered to add prosthetics to his face to make himself look ugly, but director Tim Burton wanted to base the character on Crane’s more unattractive personality traits, his reported squeamishness and eccentricity.


MINORITY REPORT

This is one of my all time fave sci-fi movies and somehow a lot of the technology doesn’t seem dated even though this movie is almost 2 decades old! I suppose self-driving cars, personalized ads, home voice automation and gesture controlled computers, most of those have become part of our every day lives now. Tom Cruise is in top form here, definitely one of his best roles.

Fun Trivia:
For the scene where Anderton holds his breath in the bathtub, Steven Spielberg was going to create the air bubble rising with CGI, but Tom Cruise took the time and learned how to do it himself. Both Spielberg and Cruise agreed to waive their usual salary to help keep the film’s budget under $100 million. They agreed to take 15% of the film’s gross instead.

BBC’s Sherlock

Ok so this one is not a movie, though I think they’re still planning on adapting this popular series as a feature. It’s Benedict Cumberbatch‘s huge breakout role (launching the Cumberbitches phenomenon) and he’s definitely fun to watch here. I love his friendship with his partner/assistant Watson, brilliantly played by Martin Freeman, which is one the strongest part about this series.

Fun Trivia:
Many of the crew in Sherlock (2010) are related. Sherlock’s parents are actually actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton; Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan) and Martin Freeman (John Watson) were real-life partners; producer Sue Vertue is writer Steven Moffat’s wife, and co-producer and writer Beryl Vertue is his mother-in-law; writer Mark Gatiss’ husband is the barrister in Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall (2012); Steven Moffat’s son plays Sherlock Holmes as a child in a few episodes.


So who are YOUR favorite movie/tv detectives?

Early 2014 TV Season: The Same Thing… Only Different!

jackdethbanner

Greetings all and sundry!

After putting the Holiday and New Year season safely behind. I’ve taken some time to settle in behind the television to enjoy and occasionally dissect the latest offerings of the major stations.

Any decent dissection is the natural offshoot of an in depth comparison and analysis in order to find a common thread or theme. And one doesn’t have to travel far to find one or more in the:

Early 2014 TV Season: The Same Thing… Only Different!

With the exceptional BBC mini-series, Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch as the latest incarnation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s master sleuth knee deep in modernized crimes and dramas. Backed up by Royal Army medical Corp and Afghan veteran, John Watson. Played with low keyed and occasional comic relief by Martin Freeman.

SherlockSeason3

The series basks in wondrously deft contemporary writing. With previous mysteries brought anew as only the British can. Adding such modern trappings as texts, tweets, laptops and social media to the mix. Saving time on screen for deeper character development and longer, more subtle interviews of witnesses and suspects than on this side of the pond.

Which became the impetus for two series from CBS. Person of Interest and Elementary. The former sports the criminally under rated, James Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, The Thin Red Line, Deja Vu) as former Army Special Ops guy, John Reese. Who is the very versatile dagger to the local cloak and Brainiac, Harold Finch. Marvelously quirky and eccentric Michael Emerson (Lost, The Return of the Dark Knight). Who may or may not have created the first generation of computers that knows all. Sees all. And may or may not be used for NSA surveillance today.

PersonOfInterest
The computer spits out Social Security Numbers of random individuals which are deemed in dangers. And Resse, Finch and killed off way to soon, NYPD detective, Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson) and her partner, Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman). In a series which has managed to recreate the best parts of  a previous 1980s classic, The Equalizer. With Edward Woodward protecting the endangered and down trodden of Manhattan.

While Elementary boasts Johnny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Hackers, Mindhunters) as recovering drug addict and former London Metropolitan Police Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes. Transplanted in Manhattan and in the employ of a precinct’s major Crimes Unit, run by Captain Thomas Gregson (Perpetual cop, Aidan Quinn), Detective Marcus Bell ( Newcomer Jon Michael Hill showing lots of potential) and Dr. Joan Watson, Lucy Liu. Holmes’ recovery therapist and shrink .

Elementary

The stories are well written for the 45 to 48 minute time constraints per episode. The bad guys are almost uniformly bad. With no connections to Doyle’s short stories, novels and novellas. Entwined in plots that often take a hop to left field, but are nicely reeled in before the final minutes. Though what is slowly becoming a hallmark of the series is the rapid and often offbeat repartee between Holmes and Watson when unearthing clues or comparing notes in search of a lead. And occasional quips from Detective Bell are worth their weight in gold.

Taking us further down the line in our search for subtle and not so subtle similarities between two new contenders. Fox’s Almost Human and Intelligence from CBS. Where the former pits rough hewn Karl Urban (Doom, Star Trek, RED, Dredd, Riddick) in L.A.’s the not too distant future. As Detective John Kennex. Sole survivor of an ambush and recipient of a replacement leg. Teamed up with an older, close to obsolete android named Dorian, after his model series, DRN. Cleverly played by Michael Ealy (Fast Forward, The Good Wife). Basically a walking, talking, multilingual Crime Lab.

Aided by a phalanx of rigid, polysyllabic robot uniform cops (Think the faceless robot cops of ‘TXH 1138’ multiplied en masse)  who do not possess a good batting average in survival after annoying Kennex with their incessant legalese yammering.

AlmostHuman

In a series that shows ever evolving technology and its possible implications in countering systems (GPS, Facial Identification, hacking social media) used by police today. Also a decent amount of well executed Special Effects in regards to a crowded city scape, sidewalks and very cool looking drones.

Solid character acting sets the foundation. Buttressed with clever plots, well thought out and executed effects that live up to the future. Where programmable bullets that never miss, organ harvesting, more human looking and feeling Sex Bots and social media murder are the norm. Instead of the exception.

Which brings us to a less than spectacular offering from CBS. Intelligence. Which can trace its lineage back to the 1970s and two pilot made for TV movies, Probe, from NBC, which later evolved into a short lived series, Search. And a pilot movie and series from ABC titled, The Delphi Bureau.

The Delphi Bureau could be considered the first creaky prototype and great grandfather of Intelligence. Where a federal bureaucracy sent an investigator, glenn Garth Gregory, (Laurence Luckinbill) armed with a photographic memory to find and undo fiendish schemes involving surplus weapons systems and or missing government funding.

While NBC had Hugh O’Brien (Wyatt Earp) investigating conspiracies in Probe and Search. With the aid of a computer link in his Mastoid Sinus that fed audio and visual to an underground computer lab led by Burgess Meredith. Backed up by superior writing from Leslie Stephens. And a bevy of lab coated Tech Babes, Angel Tompkins and Jacklyn Smith included. Amongst blinking lights sets that appeared stolen from ABC’s The Time Tunnel. While countless other young viewers have likened CBS’s crown jewel to the NBC series, Chuck.

Intelligence

In Intelligence, we have Josh Holloway (Lost) as former Ranger and Sec Ops soldier, Gabriel Vaughan. Who has a computer imbedded and a link to another isolated lab filled with other computers to aid in his feats of world wide derring-do. Protected by Secret Service Agent, Riley Neal (Meghan Ory). With whom Gabriel has no chemistry. And overseen by Marg Helgenberger (‘Species’, ‘CSI’). Who is so much better than the material and is wasted as Lillian Strand. The organization’s stiletto heeled boss.

Whose series’ premise is continuously sending the most expensive and technologically advanced super soldier into harm’s way. With a single Secret Service Agent as back up. And expect to succeed week after week. When any Flag or Field Grade officer at the Pentagon would opt for keeping Gabriel far in the rear. While possibly expending just as well trained and far less expensive, or embarrassing if captured Rangers to perform the dirty work.The series’ concept is flawed. Though it is kind of cool to look as Gabriels walks through previous crime scenes and opaque pop up windows as he searched for hidden answers.
SleepyHollowTV
And for something completely different. There is an offering from Fox that has revealed lots of creepy mood, shadow and mystique. Sleepy Hollow. Which focuses on a recently uninterred and reawakened Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) contending with the mysteries of a modern world. With the aid of police Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Capt.Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) as they fight the forces of demonic evil personified by The Headless Horseman.

The series is not as strage as it sounds. With lots of chemistry between Crane and Abbie Mills. Reinforced by exceptional flash back segues and asides that harken back to Highlander in their use of costumes and settings.While backstopped with impeccable guest stars such as Clancy Brown, who pioneered the ground covered before Crane’s arrival. And John Nobel (Fringe, Superman Unbound). Who comes up with spells and traps in the continuing battles of good versus evil.

Overall Consensus:

Sometimes, too much of a good (or not so good) thing can be dull and repetitious. Even more so when a project lacks spirit and chemistry. Not being open to new and imaginative ideas or scenarios. And ways to set them up for execution through the actors’ spoken words.Which speaks directly to writers who lack the style, panache and polish of their predecessors. Not exactly lazy. But very fuzzy and confused over short term and long term goals.
AlmostHuman_Ealy
Of the new series mentioned and critiqued. I’ll put my money on Almost Human. For its self deprecating wit, Castle-esque drive time banter. And Mr. Ealy’s ability to bring programming and computer glitches to life with tremors and quick switches to foreign languages.

Though, I’ve little doubt that Intelligence will get at least another season on Marg Helgenberger‘s name alone.


Check out Jack’s other posts and reviews



Thoughts on 2014 TV season so far? Which show(s) are YOUR favorite?

Weekend Roundup – Indiana Jones, BBC’s Sherlock + Chasing Mavericks Review

Today I truly appreciate the simple things in life. Well not that I wouldn’t any other day but especially so the past couple of days after reading all the news and weather updates on the Frankenstorm that is Hurricane Sandy. The fact that I can drive peacefully on the road without being pounded by crazy winds and heavy rain, and the fact that I have electricity in the house and place of work. The Empire State Building was trending last night on Twitter and it turned out it was because of this instagram of the Empire State Building’s light that shone when NYC went completely dark. What an eerie but yet striking image.

My thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone in the path of the storm… please do stay safe!

This weekend I actually opt for home cinema as I’ve seen both Cloud Atlas and Chasing Mavericks early last week. We had bought the Indiana Jones Blu-ray set a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t watch ’em right away as I had to cover for TCFF.

We rewatched Raiders of the Lost Ark and it was still as entertaining as ever. The picture quality is just brilliant, and Harrison Ford is perfectly cast as the rugged explorer, I really can’t picture anyone else in this role so whoever’s gonna replace him in the reboot would have HUGE shoes to fill. I also love Karen Allen as Marion, her spunk and demeanor reminds me so much of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane!

We finally caught up with BBC’s Sherlock Season 2, starting with Scandal in Belgravia. It’s by far the most confusing episode for me, the plot is just so darn complicated for my little brain. But still it’s entertaining to watch Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the odd couple and there are some really hilarious moments, especially when they first encounter Lara Pulver as Irene Adler. I thought she was brilliant in the role — Sherlock’s definitely met his match in her and watching the two psychopaths flirt with each other is quite amusing.


Now, on to the review:

I’m NOT a surfer, I’ve never even been ON a surfboard, not on land, let alone on water. But something about the surfers’ lifestyle fascinates me so I don’t think you need to know anything about surfing to enjoy this film.

The film tells the true story of Jay Moriarity, a young Santa Cruz surfer who’s immortalized in the Live Like Jay movement that just celebrated the 10th anniversary of his death last June. It was a short life as he drowned when he went diving in the Maldives just a day shy of his 23rd birthday, but the movie showed just how he lived.

Jay (Jonny Weston) first met Frosty Hesson (Gerry Butler) when Frosty rescued him from the ocean when he was only 8 years old. That experience didn’t put him off surfing, in fact, the opposite is true. He found it to be his true calling, not unlike someone like Felix Baumgartner who has a penchant for heights. Jay just loved the water and that 40-foot waves seems to be calling his name each time it hit the shores.

The fact that he lives with a single mom and an absentee father, he also yearns for a father figure and he finds that in Frosty, even though he himself is a loner who doesn’t seem to have it all together despite having a saintly wife (Abigail Spencer) and two kids. Predictably, the two bonded as Frosty trains Jay to be able to achieve his dream to chase ‘Mavericks,’ which refers to the surfing location north of Half Moon Bay in California where after a strong winter storm could top out at over 80 feet! I appreciate that this is truly a movie about surfing, not about some girl in a bikini or a procedural action flick. It focuses on the sport and shows the dedication it takes to be a darn good surfer in a sport where even the smallest miscalculation could cost one his/her life. Butler himself surely knew that by heart as he experienced a near-death accident when he was knocked off his board by a freak wave during filming. Talk about suffering for your art!

Jay certainly has a story worth telling, though I wish the story could’ve been as groundbreaking as the subject matter. Seems like when the movie is not so much focused on surfing, the script sort of loses its footing, so there’s barely any depth to any of the relationships portrayed in the film aside from Jay and Frosty’s. Even the romance between Jay and his eventual wife Kim (Leven Rambin) is so darn cheesy it comes off like an after school special.

The formulaic script really doesn’t give the actors any favors. It’s really too bad as I think Butler shows what he’s capable of all along. It’s an understated role that shows his vulnerable side, so it’s not the typical alpha-male action hero he’s known for. He not only look the part with his svelte physique and surfer hair, but he’s also got that convincing surfer swagger. As for Weston, I had been skeptical about his casting initially but I thought he captured the jovial spirit of what I picture Jay would be. The female characters are under-developed however, with Elisabeth Shue as Jay’s mother suffers the worst fate of being completely wasted here. There’s also an attempt to add a ‘villainy’ character in the film that goes absolutely nowhere.

What I do love about it is the spectacular cinematography that captures the glory of surfing. Those giant waves are amazing, and I’m glad I saw this on the big screen! I love that it was filmed on location which adds a high level of authenticity to the film. One of the main draw of this movie for me is the fact that L.A. Confidential’s director Curtis Hanson’s at the helm (reportedly Hanson had to bow out of filming because of health reasons and Michael Apted took over, so they share directing credit). I do think given the filmmakers’ credentials, this could’ve been a lot more compelling, but it’s not a bad movie by any means. In fact, I’m glad to hear according to Santa Cruz Patch, this film was well-received by the community where Jay used to surf.

I think a lot of the lessons that Jay learns in this movie, about the ‘Four Pillars of the Human Foundation’ and other disciplines can be applied to other parts of lives. The rousing ending is quite a spectacle, with those giant, mystical waves taking center stage and I could see how surfing is as much a mental sport as it is a demanding physical one.

3 out of 5 reels


P.S. I’m quite bummed that his movie was a total bomb. I didn’t expect it to be in the top five, but I certainly didn’t think it’d do so badly with a paltry $2.2 mil. Vulture asked Why Does Hollywood Think America Likes Surfing? and seems like the sub-genre of surfing movies are inherently not very marketable. Ah well, I’m glad I saw it and I’m glad they brought Jay’s story to life in this one.


Well, that’s it for the roundup this week. How ’bout you, seen anything good?

Tube Watch: Bitten by the BBC bug – Sherlock & Spooks

Happy Friday all! 

I’m afraid it’s going to be a short post today as I’m getting ready to post this month’s Five for the Fifth for tomorrow.

I’ve clearly been bitten by the BBC TV bug as I’m so addicted to both these shows! Those who’ve seen at least one episode of either one of these would surely understand. I’m sooo anticipating the arrival of season 2 of Sherlock coming to PBS Mystery this Sunday, yay! Check out the trailer below, as the super detective says… “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”


As for Spooks (or MI-5 as it’s called in the US), I’ve mentioned last Tuesday that I’m only going to catch up with Season 7 – 10, or you could say, since Richard Armitage joined the cast, natch! I’ve always loved a good espionage thriller and Spooks definitely delivered. Just like Sherlock, it’s impeccably-written, superbly acted and beautifully-shot. I love that it portrayed London in such a fascinating way, and not just the glamorous side of the city. This is the trailer that got me to finally watch this show, now of course it’d be nice if Rupert Penry-Jones had been around longer to work with Richard, but maybe that’ll be eye-candy overload, ahah.


There are a quite a few connections between the two shows, well other than airing on the same network. Benedict Cumberbatch apparently had an uncredited cameo in an earlier episode of Spooks back in 2003 (when Matthew Macfadyen was still the lead actor).

As if I need an excuse to post a photo of Richard in all that leather… [yowza!]
And recently, the actress playing Sherlock‘s love interest Irene Adler, Lara Pulver, was actually Richard Armitage’s co-star in BBC’s Robin Hood as Guy of Gisbourne’s sister Isabella. She also has a role in the last season of Spooks as the new Chief of Section D. Wow, she’s one busy girl… and very, very lucky! From what I’ve seen in her clips with Sherlock, she’s certainly poised to juice up the already stimulating show 😉

I think it’s awesome that the main cast of BOTH shows, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage are ALL going to be in The Hobbit! Man, I’d give anything to work for FREE for just a day on that set!

Anyway, I guess the good thing of being so far behind on TV watching is that I have a wealth of episodes to catch up on. These two shows definitely satisfy my penchant for easy-on-the-eyes British guys and the oh-so-witty writing! 😀


Are you a fan of either of these? And tell me, what show(s) are you completely hooked on lately?

Monthly Roundup: April Movie Watching Recap

Happy May Day folks! April certainly flew by amazingly quick, I feel like I had just done this monthly round up not that long ago and now it’s time for another update!

Well, this month is a busy one blogging one. Here are a few blogging events I hosted as well as took part in, check ’em out if you haven’t already:

I’ve only gone to the cinema once this entire month, opting to catch up on some older films I haven’t seen yet, as well as TV shows that I’ve been wanting to check out for some time.

Movies I haven’t seen before:

I wanted to see The Raven last weekend as I was intrigued by the trailer, but the dismal reviews (21% on Rotten Tomatoes!) dissuaded me. Now, I like Luke Evans, but I think I’ll just rent it later.

Re-watch:
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man
  • Superman Returns
  • The Insider
  • David & Bathsheba
As you can see, in anticipation for The Avengers, I re-watched a couple of Marvel films. We were going to re-watch MI:4 Ghost Protocol as we just got the Blu-ray, but Ted gave me the BD of Superman Returns so we spent most of that night watching the Behind-the-Scenes stuff which is one of the most-detailed Special Features since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy! It was awesome to see the casting process on how Brandon Routh was cast, and various film shoots on location in Australia. We watched the movie Sunday night and I must say I have a whole new appreciation for the movie. I wasn’t blown away on initial viewing though I didn’t dislike it, but now I actually enjoyed it more. I still think the Superman’s son plot is ill-advised however, but it’s not a deal breaker. I also think that Routh was perfectly-cast, he may not be a good actor, but he made for an excellent Superman/Clark Kent.
… 
TV shows/miniseries:
  • CBS Scarlett miniseries
  • BBC Sherlock (Season 1)
  • BBC Spooks (3 episodes of Season 7)
Well I’m hooked on both Sherlock and Spooks now, so in the next few months we’ll be playing catch-up on both those shows. Thankfully season 2 of Sherlock will air on PBS starting this coming Sunday. As for Spooks, I’m only watching the seasons when Richard Armitage joined the series [season 7, 8 and 9], even though I first discovered this series when Rupert Penry-Jones was the main um, hunk on the show. It’s such a thrilling, well-written and superbly-acted series, no wonder it’s been around for a whole decade. It’s inevitable of course that a US remake is already planned, no word whether the agents [spooks] will be Brits or Americans. I doubt it’ll live up to the original.
 Favorite April Movie:
Thanks to Jack Deth’s review that finally compelled me to rent this. It certainly merits its classic thriller status and it even makes me want to watch the sequel just to find out what happens to that Elusive Mr. Charnier! I realize it won’t be as good as the original though. Oh, after seeing this one and Manhunter, now I REALLY want to see To Live and Die in LA, directed by William Friedkin and starring William Petersen. Thanks Ted S. for lending me his Blu-ray!
… 

So, how many films did you see this month and what’s your favorite?

Weekend Viewing Roundup – a mixed bag of 3 genres & 1 addictive TV series

Happy Monday everyone!

Did you have a great weekend? It was a good one for me as well as bittersweet as one of my good friends is going back to our home country for a year for personal reasons, so we had a farewell dinner on Saturday night. I skipped the cinema again and opted for home-cinema viewing and also working on my Avengers assignment for my pal Terrence of The Focused Filmographer as part of the countdown for the movie. The posts will be revealed next week, though I’m so jealous that folks in Europe will see this first as it opens about a week before we get to see it here in the US!

My blog friend Jaina was fortunate enough to be at the London premiere last Thursday when ALL of the cast members were there, right around the corner of her office!! She took a bunch of photos of the event which you can check out on her blog. She was kind enough to let me use one of them as you can see above. Oh man, I’m so jealous yet happy that she got to be a part of such a fun event!

Well, as part of the Avengers countdown, I re-watched the first Iron Man movie and it’s still as entertaining as ever. Can’t believe that it’s been four years ago since that one came out and now we’ve got Tony Stark as part of the assembly of superheroes on a mission. It’s amazing how the Stark Industries is so key in the whole Avengers universe which of course began with Tony’s dad Howard with Steve Rogers’ transformation into Captain America in the 40s.


Now, part of my goal this year is to catch up on some classic movies that’ve long eluded me for whatever reason. One of those movies are The French Connection, prompted by a review that my good friend Jack Deth gave me last week. I’ll publish that review at a later date, but let me just say that it’s one heck of an excellent thriller. It’s gritty, chock-full of suspense cop thriller by William Friedkin. Two of the major reasons I’m curious to see this movie is Gene Hackman’s performance, and that famous car chase that wasn’t really a car chase as the driver was chasing an elevated subway train above him. This film did NOT disappoint on both counts! People always remember the car chase and rightly so, but I think the foot chase scenes of Hackman & Fernando Rey through NYC streets and subways are just as thrilling!

I’m glad I finally got to see the film, it’s definitely a great thriller with great performances by Hackman and Roy Schneider, a sharp script, and great editing. That iconic car chase scene is really icing on the cake, I could see how it has inspired a bunch of other urban car chases in movies. Fogs is right in selecting it as one of those Movies Everyone Should See.


Another film I saw this weekend is a 1994 CBS miniseries Scarlett, which is a follow-up to the epic civil war saga Gone with the Wind where Scarlett is determined to win back Rhett. So did Rhett really mean it when he said “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn?”

Well, when Rhett is played by none other than Timothy Dalton, I certainly have to find that out. Interesting that both Scarlett and Rhett are played by Brits this time, Joanne Whalley is from Manchester and Dalton of course is Welsh, but I think both did a decent job with their Southern accent, though Dalton’s inimitable Welsh brogue did slip out every once in a while 🙂 I have only finished Disc 1 but I enjoyed it so far, especially with Sean Bean appearing later on. I’m loving the Bond connection here, one Bond actor and Bond villain together in a movie, the 007-fangirl in me is loving this!


Oh and I finally finished the first season of BBC’s Sherlock… and it ended with a titillating cliffhanger!! Darn, I wish season 2 is available on Netflix already. The wait until May is going to be torture!


Well, that’s my summary of my weekend roundup. What did YOU see this weekend?

Weekend Viewing Roundup and Battleship (2012) guest review

Hello folks, hope you all had a lovely weekend. I skipped the cinema again this weekend, as there’s nothing that interest me. Besides, I just want to catch up with more of BBC’s Sherlock. This time it’s The Blind Banker episode which is another awesome episode. I still like the first episode The Study in Pink better though, but I LOVE both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s rapport, the casting is what makes the movie work for me, and of course, the sharp script!

Just a quick box-office summary from Box Office Mojo: Hunger Games is still on top for the fourth weekend in a row with $21.5 mil. Wow, it’s the first movie since Avatar three years ago to achieve such a feat and that one also has a strong female character in the lead. See a trend here Hollywood? 😀 Can’t imagine people would want to see The Three Stooges movie, but somehow it managed to pull in over $17 mil for 2nd place [scratch head]. The horror flick with Thor, er Chris Hemsworth finished third with nearly $15 mil.

Well, this weekend I also caught up with a thriller by Michel Mann called Manhunter and a re-watch of The Incredible Hulk as part of our Avengers‘ countdown. It’s the third viewing of the Hulk movie since my hubby and I saw it on the big screen back in 2008, and we still loved it. Ed Norton is excellent as the big green hero, and he adds a convincing layer of humanity as the tormented scientist Bruce Banner. I also love Liv Tyler’s performance here, she’s appropriately sweet and caring, which totally made you believe she’s the only person who can calm Hulk down. It’s definitely an improvement over Ang Lee’s Hulk which has too much psychological mambo-jumbo that drags the movie down, not too mention Nick Nolte’s overacting. It’s too bad as Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly were both good.

My review of Manhunter will be up tomorrow, but in the meantime, check out this review below from my Indonesian friend Cecilia who’ve agreed to become a regular FlixChatter reviewer from now on, yay! She did a review of The Raid a few weeks ago.

Battleship (2012)

It is clear that the idea about alien has been used on films a lot. I personally put my high appreciation on District 9, the so called low-budget movie which could create such a strong storyline and entertaining action scenes too. But when I was watching Battleship at the cinema, the first film that cross my mind is absolutely Battle: Los Angeles (see Ted’s review). Alien invasion, army, and some similar approaches on the dialog and acting.
Battleship involves this army team where Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) need to team up with his brother, Stone Hopper (Alexander Skarsgard) and his fiance’s father, Shane (Liam Neeson) to defeat the alien armada. They were trapped into a gigantic dome and there was no available access in or out of the dome. The gigantic dome practically reminds me of The Simpsons Movie.
Audiences might have been bored with alien-versus-army cliche all over again. Battleship actually did not offer much different essence. Patriotic army team with tense action scenes completed with a little romance. I personally feel entertained with the action scenes on the water. Explosions, cannons, and tactical war. Massive fights on the water is kind of refreshment after sinking with Titanic 3D a week ago. Moreover, Rihanna managed to attract audience’s attention for her role in the movie. For a singer doing her first film, I think she was doing good with her tomboy-ish style.
The grand scoring pretty much supports the tense action scenes. I see that Battleship and Transformers movies are having the same composer, Steve Jablonsky. And I was pretty much disappointed that while I was watching Battleship, I actually felt that they were using exactly the same score for both movies. More disappointment come out when I saw this one yellow alien looks like a mini Bumblebee.
Despite all the factors we might have seen on the previous alien invasion movies, I still feel that Battleship is the kind of popcorn movie which entertains me. When you do see it, stay on your seats when the movie is over for a post-credit scene.
– review by Cecilia Rusli
Three and a half stars out of Five
3.5 out of 5 reels


So what did you see this weekend, folks? Anything good?