MARCH Viewing Recap + Films I’m looking forward to in April

MarchRecap

Well it’s technically Spring and the sun is shining outside, but Winter hasn’t quite left us just yet. Temps is only in the 40s so we can’t exactly plant those Petunias just yet. Heck, we might even still get snow later tonight! But hey, it IS April so I’m gonna pretend Spring IS here.

So here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

(in order of viewing)

I’ve reviewed Shaun the Sheep, London Has Fallen, Eye in the Sky, Crouching Tiger 2, Batman V Superman and Before We Go. I’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts on Knight of Cups here. I should have my review of Suite Française later this month as I still haven’t got around to reviewing any of Sam Riley movies [sigh]. I did do a special Music Break post dedicated to Control though. As for Suite Française, lets just say the UK dvd I bought from Amazon (which I had to convert into Region 1 so I can actually play it) was well worth the purchase!

On the TV front, I finished the entire season of Daredevil in just one week! That is quite a record as normally my hubby and I take our time with TV shows. Well, suffice to say Daredevil season 2 was great, I’d say it’s on par with season 1, with an even better adversary in The Punisher. I’ll definitely do a top 10 post for it, just like I did with Jessica Jones.

Rewatches

Yes of course I rewatched a few of Sam Riley films. On the Road and Control are the kind of films I could watch a few times a year, even just to indulge in Sam’s performance. I only have one more of his feature films to watch, which is a British thriller 13 (see trailer below) which has a stellar ensemble cast (Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, Michael Shannon, etc.) which I plan to watch next week. After that I’ll be done with his entire filmography!


Of course there’s always time for period dramas in my life, so I rewatched BBC’s Persuasion just a few days ago. Apart from the awkward kissing scene, I love this adaptation. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen story after Sense & Sensibility. Now, A Promise is a very flawed drama, but for some reason I enjoyed it… there’s something about the way Richard Madden pines for Rebecca Hall that I find so irresistible.

Currently reading

SSGB

I’ve been devouring this excellent novel by Len Deighton, which is an alternative history narrative set in a Nazi-occupied Britain, centered on a Scotland Yard detective Douglas Archer. BBC is currently adapting SS-GB as a five-part miniseries with my dahling Sam Riley as the protagonist Archer (yay!) I’ll be blogging about this project specifically, but let’s just say the book is a page-turner, a MUST for all spy fans.

MOVIE SERIES OF THE MONTH

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I actually don’t really have a favorite new-to-me film I saw this month. It would’ve probably be A Streetcar Named Desire, but since I was unable to watch it last week for the Blindspot series, I’m putting down Daredevil Season 2 as the best thing I watched in March. I can’t wait to see the standalone Punisher series, I wonder if they’ll have that before or after Daredevil season 3. Either way, I’m up for both!!


Films I look forward to in April

Born To Be Blue

I’m hoping to catch this one later this weekend. I have the screener link but it has the pesky watermark on it so I’ve sort of been putting off watching it. Hoping to chat with the director too, we’ll see if that pans out. I’m always up for an interesting music biopic and I don’t know anything about Chet Baker so it should be interesting.

Demolition

I missed the press screening of Demolition last month but fortunately there’s another one scheduled next week, so I can’t wait for this.

 

Huntsman: Winter War

This screening is actually scheduled the same time as The Jungle Book. I’d love to see that one too but I didn’t really like the theater it’s screened at so I chose this one. It’s probably not gonna be a great movie, but I’d still see it just for the trio of fabulous women: Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain. I think it’s inspired casting to see Theron and Blunt as sisters.

13 (2011)

Despite the stellar cast, this film never got a theatrical release. I actually heard about it in one of Sam’s interviews where he said he saw it years later and had to find it online somewhere to see it! The reviews haven’t been kind, but really, with THIS cast (esp. Sam in the lead role!) I simply have to see it. It’s interesting too that the Georgian director actually remade his own movie 13 Tzameti and set it in the US with British/American actors.


Well that’s my recap of March. What’s YOUR favorite film of the month?

Weekend Roundup: Musings on the first half of Daredevil season 2

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My hubby and I usually would spend 15-20 minutes just browsing iTunes and Netflix and agonize over what to watch. So we’re sure glad Daredevil Season 2 dropped on Netflix last Friday, as we know what we’ll be bingeing on all weekend. But our extent of ‘binging’ is actually just 3 episodes a day, so we’re only about halfway through season 2 with 7 episodes in, but that’s not bad considering it took us nearly 3 months to finish Jessica Jones!

I don’t usually blog about Netflix stuff but that seems to be the case the past couple of weeks. It’s a coincidence really, but hey, they do churn out quality stuff and this season of Daredevil sure is another winner in my book. As I mentioned in my Jessica Jones‘ post that it took a while for me to warm up to the character and the show. Well, not so w/ Daredevil as the same with season 1, I was immediately hooked. Once one episode ended, we couldn’t wait for another one!

Since I haven’t finished the entire season yet, I’ll just briefly list some of my favorite things about what I’ve seen so far, without revealing any spoiler (if I do, I’ll be sure to warn you).

What I’m liking so far:

The Punisher. Boy, Jon Bernthal‘s casting is just brilliant. There’s a lot of hype about his character but he did NOT disappoint. He fit the character like a glove and he’s the quintessential antihero, someone I sympathize with despite his obvious flaws. I have to say I don’t miss Wilson Fisk at all this season, and in terms of both having a rather tragic past, I think Punisher is far more compelling. At least so far anyways.

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I can’t wait to see more of his backstory revealed, which only makes me want to see an entire season on him. That’s saying something given that I’ve never been all that interested in this character before and have skipped all of the cinematic adaptations so far. I’d even watch a movie of The Punisher w/ Jon Bernthal in the role!

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I’ve always liked Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) since season 1 but I love her even more this time around. She’s acting like a investigative journalist here, as she gets dragged deeper into about Frank’s story. This girl’s got some chutzpah! I mean she has no superpower but she’d readily walk into things that’d likely get her in trouble. I absolutely admire her and I’m glad to see Karen gets more screen time this season.

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The key member of Nelson & Murdock, as well as Matt’s indispensable BFF, is the extremely affable Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). He’s rather underused in first season so I’m thrilled he’s also got more screen time and Henson got a few chances to shine in the role. I love how much he genuinely cares for his BFF and he’s not afraid to get in his face if he thinks Matt’s in over his head (which is quite often). I also love the fact that they utilized his legal training, as well as an admirable oratory skills, to good use. I’m not going to mention which scene, but when you see it, you’d want to stand and clap. Well done Foggy!!

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Now, I haven’t decided how I feel about Elodie Young as Elektra Natchios yet at this point. So far her character arc is a rich, spoiled brat who’s pretty persuasive to get men (including Matt) to do her bidding. Well, the French actress certainly fits the femme fatale role well, though at times she seems to try to be too sexy that it’s irritating. I do like the playfulness of her banter with Matt, it actually gives a nice contrast to the unrelentingly-dark storyline of the Punisher.

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Of course, Charlie Cox himself is still awesome as the title character. He’s even more comfortable in the role and it’s great to see his character grow and evolve. His concern for Hell’s Kitchen is unmistakable, but he’s a bit more world-weary (naturally so) and still ravaged by guilt. He’s also more careful about getting involved romantically, for fear that he’d mess things up.

And for a show called Daredevil, we expect some awesome fight scenes. The fight scenes between Daredevil and The Punisher sure is a highlight. The rooftop scene between the two are fantastically-done because it isn’t just fight, fight, fight but there’s plenty of conversations between them. I LOVE that Netflix doesn’t skimp on character development. (spoiler alert!) As you would see on ep. 4, Bernthal has one long emotional monologue at the cemetery that’s wonderful to watch.

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But Daredevil also got plenty of opportunities beating up goons and hooligans from one episode to the next. The hallway fight scene below is pretty darn cool! I wonder if the director(s) got some inspiration from The Raid movies for this scene in particular.

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Thanks hypeable.com for this awesome gif

But as cool as those fight scenes are, without a truly compelling story, I wouldn’t be inclined to keep watching. The morality tale of Daredevil is well-written and the inner conflict of the masked hero is what makes him intriguing to watch. With the arrival of Punisher who’s got his own brand of justice, that moral dilemma is even more palpable. Like Batman, Daredevil is a vigilante who doesn’t believe he has the right to take a life, no matter how bad the crime the villain has committed. The difference is that Daredevil is depicted as being a devout Catholic. Season 2 doesn’t shy away from the faith aspect and whether you agree or not with his views, it’s certainly make for a thought-provoking discussion.

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As I’ve just finished episode 7 within an hour I posted this, I think season 2 is just as strong as the first one. At least based on what I’ve seen so far. Interesting that based on Rotten Tomatoes score, season 2 is a step down, and the critics consensus said ‘… the additions of Punisher and Elektra can’t quite fill the void left by Wilson Fisk’ Huh? Ok so maybe so about Elektra, but I definitely LOVE the Punisher character more than Fisk. Heh, that goes to show why I don’t always trust the professional critics.

Anyhoo, can’t wait to catch up w/ the rest of the season. Hopefully I’ll be done by next weekend!


So what did you watch this weekend? If you also binged on Daredevil season 2, I’d love to hear what YOU think!

Counting down to Netflix’s Daredevil season 2!

DaredevilSeason2

It’s just three days away until Daredevil Season 2!! All 13 episodes will be out on Netflix on Friday, March 18 at 12:01 PST. It’s actually two weeks earlier than the air date of the first season which was released on April 10, 2015. It wasn’t until about a month later that my hubby and I finished all 13 episodes but once we’re done, we couldn’t wait for more!

Well, after nearly a year, that day is just around the corner! The latest trailer just dropped and it wets my appetite even more!


I’m just in the process writing my review of Jessica Jones‘ season 1 and I don’t think it’d be a huge spoiler to say there’s a connection between these two Netflix superhero series. I was literally screaming at my tv when I saw one of Daredevil‘s characters made an appearance!

Season 2 synopsis:
Daredevil_MattMurdock

Just when Matt (Charlie Cox) thinks he is bringing order back to the city, new forces are rising in Hell’s Kitchen. Now the Man Without Fear must take on a new adversary in Frank Castle and face an old flame – Elektra Natchios. Bigger problems emerge when Frank Castle, a man looking for vengeance, is reborn as The Punisher, a man who takes justice into his own hands in Matt’s neighborhood. Meanwhile, Matt must balance his duty to his community as a lawyer and his dangerous life as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, facing a life-altering choice that forces him to truly understand what it means to be a hero.

Where season 1 left off

It ended on an optimistic note but still left plenty of uncertainties for resident of Hell’s Kitchen. The scary big dude Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) managed to escape custody in the finale but thankfully Daredevil was able to corner him and so he’s now in prison.

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I thought that white wall thing in his cell for him to stare at is quite hilarious. Murdock and his BFF/law partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) put up a new sign outside their law office, and now Foggy is fully aware of his best friend’s nightly activities as a crime fighter.

New adversaries for Matt Murdock…

Punisher

I thought that Wilson Fisk was a pretty scary adversary but sounds like we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Jon Bernthal has joined the cast as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, who’ll come to Hell’s Kitchen to deliver his own brand of justice. Whilst Matt typically incapacitate the criminals but left them alive, Frank didn’t seem to have any qualms finishing them off any way he could. And Bernthal sure have the physicality and grit that made him truly menacing. I actually haven’t seen any film version of The Punisher, there just hasn’t been any worth checking out to be honest. But THIS version looks pretty darn cool and I’d welcome a spinoff of his character which is currently in the works. Just like Batman vs Superman though, I think these foes will eventually join forces against a common enemy, not sure who that’ll be.

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Here’s a featurette of Frank Castle, a man looking for vengeance descend into Hell’s Kitchen. He is reborn as The Punisher, a man who takes justice into his own hands in Matt’s neighborhood.

Elektra

I’ve also got the good fortune of not having seen the Daredevil movie w/ Batfleck aka Ben Affleck, nor the spinoff Elektra starring his current ex Jennifer Garner. I only know that Elektra has a romantic history w/ Matt Murdock, which naturally sex things up a lot. Daredevil’s former flame is now played by a French actress Elodie Yung whose exotic looks goes well with her dangerous martial arts badassery.

 

… but the old gang are back again

I LOVE all of the supporting cast of Daredevil and they all have interesting character arc that serve the overall narrative.

I love both female characters in season 1, Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). I’m especially excited for Claire and hope that there’ll be more scenes between him and Matt. They certainly have a pretty scorching chemistry but most of the action involves nurse Claire stitching up Matt after a bloody fight. Hopefully there’ll be more interactions between her and Foggy & Karen, too as they’re the only ones who know about Matt’s secret identity.

Daredevil_Claire

Karen’s an intriguing character in her own right, as she’s more than just a legal help in Nelson & Murdock law firm. I’d love to see a bit more of her backstory in season 2, hopefully it isn’t lost in the battle between Matt and his two new formidable foes.

Daredevil_Matt_Karen

The scene where she shot Fisk’s right-hand man Wesley was unexpected but a welcome story arc for her. There was a hint of romance between him and Matt in the first season, so maybe there’ll be more of that in season 2? I just hope there’s no love triangle (or even quadruple??) nonsense and it’s rarely handled well and it almost always comes out corny. Must be nice being Charlie Cox though, having not one or two but three potential love interests in a single show, wow!

Well, I’m gonna end it with this photo of Nelson & Murdock legal team, now this is a law firm I can totally get behind. Friday can’t come soon enough. For sure I know what I’ll be watching this entire weekend!

NelsonMurdockLawFirm


So are you anticipating Daredevil Season 2? 

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Five for the Fifth: DECEMBER 2015 Edition

FiveForFifth2015

Welcome to FlixChatter’s primary blog series! As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

1. Can’t believe the end of the year is upon us folks! As we anticipate December movies, I can’t help but setting my sights into movies opening in the Spring. Well, it looks to be a battle of Marvel vs DC, in which the two movies will consist of their own heroes fighting each other, ahah. Batman vs Superman aka Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War are initially going to open on the same day, before Zack Snyder moved the release date of Dawn of Justice to March 25.

So here are the two recently-released trailers:

Heh, they pretty much given up the entire movie in the trailer! And despite all the hoopla of Batman fighting Superman, they practically downplayed the most intriguing aspect of the movie to introduce the huge monster Doomsday as the main villain. That’s just idiotic, why not build up more of the tension between the two behemoth heroes? I thought the 50-second teaser was far more interesting and ominous (see below), but the tone of the trailer is too playful it’s almost comedic which is just so messed up.

The only cool part of trailer 2 is seeing Wonder Woman in that last still shot, but man Jesse Eisenberg wins Most Annoying Villain ever as Lex Luthor.

On the other hand, I’m even more pumped to see the battle that goes down between Captain America and Iron Man!

CivilWar_still

The Captain America franchise has become my favorite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the story arc is definitely the most interesting. I LOVE seeing Bucky in the trailer back on Capt’s side again. The reason why Capt. and Tony Stark are fighting each other make total sense and it’ll be a bad ass and emotional battle for both parties.

CivilWar_BlackPanther

Nice seeing Black Panther here and his ambiguous allegiance makes his character all the more intriguing. May 6th can’t come soon enough!!

So what’s your thoughts on each of these trailers?
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2. Switching gears to one of the most anticipated TV series returning next year. Both are supposed to be premiering in SPRING!!

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One is Netflix’s DAREDEVIL… the teaser is over a month old but it’s still cool to see it again. Between Elektra and Punisher, Matt Murdoch’s got his work cut out for him! BRING. IT. ON.

As for the other series, well most of you who know me well should know by now how much I’ve been anticipating Outlander season 2, given how huge my crush is on hunky Frenchman Stanley Weber 😉

So yeah, one of the biggest reasons I look forward for season 2 is Comte St Germain. But I mean seriously, can you blame me? He still looks so damn hot in powdered wig, but I sure hope the producers know how to make the most of his talents. He’s largely unknown in the States but based on what I’ve seen him in so far, he’s SO much more than a pretty face and be both charming AND menacing at the same time. Can’t wait to see that staredown scene between Le Comte and Claire.

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What’s YOUR most anticipated returning TV series?

3. In the next few weeks I hope to do a Top 10 MVP of both male and female performers of 2015 (in a separate list). I might wait until January though so I can see as many new releases as possible. But I have a pretty good idea who would surely make my list based on what I’ve seen so far, these two would certainly make my top 10:

Charlize_FuryRoad

Thank you George Miller for making Mad Max: Fury Road a female-driven film and infused it with the most breathtaking, fun and emotional cinematic ride I’ve seen on the big screen all year. Charlize Theron is so freakin’ bad ass as Furiosa that it’s definitely one of the most memorable female performances of 2015.

Hardy_Legend

Ahhhh Tom Hardy… the scene stealer in practically everything he’s in gets to show his chops playing TWO characters as the Kray Brothers in LEGEND. He’s really the only reason to see the film. Absolutely mesmerizing despite the so-so script, and practically Bond-like as Reggie Kray. Please Broccolis, you’ve GOT to offer him 007 post Daniel Craig!

So if you could just name one male & female MVP of the year, who would they be?
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4. Now, this question might be an easy or a tricky one. But I hope this topic will spark some discussions amongst you movie lovers.

Do you think 2015 has been a good year for movies? Please let me know your rationale regardless which is your answer.

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is Keith from Keith and Movies Blog!

The question relates perfectly to the one above, as each of us certainly bring different expectations to certain films. I think for me, given how I feel about the recent Bond movies, I’d think Spectre is one of my biggest disappointments of the year.

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With the movie year winding down, what was your biggest movie disappointment of the past year?


Well, that’s it for the year end’s edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀