JUNE Viewing Recap: INDIAN SUMMERS, Netflix’s Murder Mystery, Unlocked, etc.

I can’t believe it’s July already… I feel like once July 4th is behind us, we’re already more than halfway done with Summer ūüė¶ Well, I actually didn’t really do much movie/tv watching around the Fourth weekend as I prefer to make the most of Minnesota Summer outside.

I did watch quite a few things in June, some of which I haven’t reviewed nor even mentioned on the blog. But for those looking for new releases reviews, here’s a handy list:

Aladdin | Godzilla: King of Monsters | Rocketman | Dark Phoenix | Always Be My Maybe | Late Night | Dead Don’t Die | Toy Story 4 | Spiderman: Far From Home | Midsommar | Yesterday

Oh I also saw MIB: International which I can’t say was a good movie (read: it was awful!). Review coming sometime next week.


Let me start with the show I’ve been bingeing. Thanks to my friend Vony B who has a similar taste as mine in regards to British shows [and hunks ūüėČ ], she recommended me INDIAN SUMMERS on Amazon Prime.

Period drama set in 1932 during the final years of British colonial rule in India.

I finished Season 1 in about a week, but took my time with the 2nd season as I kind of don’t want this series to end (there are only 2 seasons). I LOVE it, it’s kind of like Downton Abbey but with even more intrigue and higher stakes, and also feature a diverse cast. The show centers in Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, during the Summer, hence the name. The British colonialism story has been told before but what I love about this one is how the story is told by both sides, the British and the Indians. The characters from each group are both multi-dimensional… not every British are evil and all Indians are good or vice versa, lots of gray areas that make the show so compelling and intriguing. Kudos to show creator Paul Rutman for making such an addictive show and each episode always ends with a breathtaking cliffhanger!

Nikesh Patel & Jemima West

My initial draw to the show is Julie Walters who plays against type as the ruthless and conniving Simla club owner. But soon I was rooting for Nikesh Patel’s Aafrin, the Indian man in a British suit who’s rising through the ranks in the Indian Civil Service. What period drama without romance? The secret ‘forbidden’ romance between Aafrin and Alice (Jemima West) is downright juicy! I’m only about 3 episodes in on season 2 but I’m savoring every moment. Even though I’m not done with the entire series yet, based on what I’ve seen so far I’m giving it a high rating.


New to VOD

Isn’t It Romantic

So my friend Holly has reviewed the movie here, and I agree with her that it’s a lot of fun! I’m not the biggest fan of rom-coms (unless it’s written by Nora Ephron or Richard Curtis) and I love that this movie pokes fun at the genre while paying homage to it at the same time. “I had you at hello-copter” had me in stitches! I adore Rebel Wilson and she’s definitely the reason to see this.


Netflix Shows:

Murder Mystery

Ok so when Netflix bragged that over 30million people saw this movie in its opening weekend, I was curious what the fuss is about. Well Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston are made for each other in this lush but vapid vacation comedy that’s practically devoid of suspense. Ok I gotta to admit the gorgeous locations are pure escapism, heck I’d love to be invited aboard a yacht by a perfectly-tanned tycoon who looked like Luke Evans. I told my hubby that if that’d ever happen to us, I’m definitely saying yes, ha! Of course I’d be hit by lightning long before that’d ever occur in my lifetime. It’s entertaining in parts, but I likened it to eating McDonalds… yes you enjoyed it but once you finished eating, you wished you’d eaten something far more nutritious.

Unlocked

I had never even heard about this movie before I saw its image suddenly flashed on Netflix. This is the fourth action movie of Noomi Rapace on Netflix I saw in the past couple of years, the previous three were What Happened To Monday, Bright and Close. Boy, the petite Swedish actress is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Here she plays a CIA interrogator who’s lured into a ruse that puts London at risk of a biological attack. It started out really intriguing but as soon as Orlando Bloom showed up, it became an old school spy flick where nothing is what it seems. It’s not as smart as you think however, which is disappointing given its gripping first act. The cast is filled with talented actors, Michael Douglas, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, but most of them are pretty wasted in bit parts. Rapace’s is interesting to watch however despite her stoic expression and no-nonsense demeanor. I’d say it’s still worth a look if you’re a fan of spy thrillers, and at 1hr 38 minutes, it’s pretty darn efficient.

The Chef Show

I think this show’s got more unwanted PR from Gwyneth Paltrow when she apparently didn’t remember she was in the first Spider-Man movie that Jon Favreau had to remind her. It’s too bad as it’s a really good show… just make sure you don’t watch it hungry.

Favreau was chef Roy Choi’s apprentice when he did the indie movie Chef (which I highly recommend). In the first two episodes, they made even the simplest food like grilled cheese so mouth watering. I don’t even like grilled cheese that much and I was salivating! Nice that Favreu has plenty of cool friends to stop by his show. In an Atlanta restaurant, a few Avengers (and its honcho), Robert Downey Jr.,¬†Tom Holland and Kevin Feige joined them for lunch.

I love the casual vibe of the show and the camaraderie of the chefs. Favreau and Choi seemed to genuinely each other’s company, and obviously enjoy what they’re doing that their joy is infectious. Can’t wait to watch the rest of the season!


My fave JUNE movie has got to be Always Be My Maybe

…with Spider-Man: Far From Home closely behind.


So what’s the highlight of your JUNE viewing?

JULY 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month

July16Recap

I can’t believe I’m doing yet another monthly roundup. I swear I just did this not that long ago.

The last day of July also marks a milestone for me as I finally got to type those elusive two words at the bottom of my script!!!

HW_TheEnd

Now I’m going to lock it away for a month (an advice I took from¬†a screenwriting¬†site) before I tinker with it again‚Ķ so no, I haven’t got to that coveted FINAL draft yet. But still, it took me nearly a year to finally get to this point so it’s quite exciting!

Well it turns out I did watch quite a bit of movies in July, both new-to-me and re-watches. August screenings include Suicide Squad, Florence Foster Jenkins, Pete’s Dragon, Anthropoid and The Light Between Oceans. Still hoping to get a screener link of Equals, the romance sci-fi by Drake Doremus w/ Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult, so hopefully I get that soon.

So anyway, here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

13movie

13 (2011)

CaptFantasticCaptain Fantastic (2016) ‚Äď review upcoming

AdventurerMidasBox

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)

SecretLifePets

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (2016)

STB

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

AbFabMovie

Absolutely Fabulous (2016)

JasonBourne

Jason Bourne (2016) ‚Äď review upcoming

Laura

Laura (1944)

LifeMovie

Life (2015)


Look for my review of Jason Bourne and a guest review of Café Society sometime next week!


Blindspot Pick

Laura1944poster


 Rewatches

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….
Gladiator¬†(2000) | Pride +¬†Prejudice + Zombies¬†(2016) | BBC’s Sense & Sensibility (2008) ¬†| Superman Returns (2006) | Toy Story 3 (2010) | The Dark Valley (2014) | Becoming Jane (2007) | Working Girl (1988) | The Age of Adaline¬†(2015)

I ended up re-watching a ton of movies this past month. Most of these are on Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I might as well watch them when they’re still available. Some of them I own the Blu-ray (PPZ, Toy Story 3, Superman Returns and BBC’s Sense & Sensibility) and you know my penchant for period dramas, naturally I have to watch a few every month ūüėČ

I hadn’t watched Working Girl for at least a decade and I have to say it’s definitely shown its age but it’s still pretty enjoyable. Boy whatever happened to Melanie Griffith? I mean Harrison Ford is definitely still relevant and so is Sigourney Weaver, heck even David Duchovny who’s only credited as a guy at a birthday party still has¬†a pretty good career now.

I’m participating in Movie Rob’s Genre Grandeur and the this month’s topic is Foreign Language¬†so of course I’m picking one featuring Sam Riley‚Ķ Das Finstere Tal (The Dark Valley), so watch for my comprehensive¬†review of that in the next few weeks.


 TV Series
VEEPseries

I’ve only gotten to two episodes of Season 1 but I enjoyed it so far. Julia Louis Dreyfuss is a hoot as the Veep herself Selina Meyer. I didn’t realize there are 5 seasons already but the good thing is it’s only a half-hour sit-com so it’s easier to catch up on.


MOVIE(S) OF THE MONTH

MoviesOfTheMonthJuly

It wasn’t as easy to select my movie of the month of July. But out of the contemporary films I saw last month, Captain Fantastic is one I still think about the most. I’m hoping to review it soon, but it’s certainly one of the most unique films ever and Viggo Mortensen is well, fantastic.

I’ve been wanting to watch Laura¬†for a long time. My friend Vince reviewed it for me¬†back in 2011¬†and he highly recommended it. It’s¬†one of the most acclaimed classic noir mystery and was nominated for five Oscars. Well, it certainly lived up to the hype. I was quite mesmerized by the beautiful Gene Tierney.


Well that’s my viewing recap of¬†July. What’s YOUR favorite film of the month?

JUNE 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month

June16Recap

Wow, the first half of the year has come and gone! I don’t know about you but 2016 felt like a blur to me for some reason. I gotta do a list of the best 2016 movies so far.

Well, it has been a relatively busy month for me that I was unable to make a few screenings, i.e. Central Intelligence, Finding Dory. But I am looking forward to Captain Fantastic, Ghostbusters, Absolutely Fabulous and Suicide Squad later this month!

So anyway, here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

EddieEagle
Eddie the Eagle

Zootopia

Zootopia

Concussion

Concussion

TheBFG

The BFG

Tarzan

Tarzan

MidnightSpecial

Midnight Special

HunkyDory

Hunky Dory


Look for Ted’s review of The Purge: Election Year, as well as my reviews of The BFG and The Legend of Tarzan next week!


TV Series

TWQ

Starz/BBC’s¬†The White Queen (2013)
The series that got me all obsessed over Richard III…
and Aneurin Barnard! ūüôā

ThirteenBBC

BBC¬†Three’s¬†Thirteen Miniseries (2016)
I ended up watching all five episodes on my laptop
in just three days. Again, thanks to Aneurin!

WarPeace

BBC One’s¬†War & Peace (2016)
I haven’t finished this yet, just watched ep. 3 last night.
All three of these series have Aneurin in it ūüėČ

Once I finish War & Peace, I might get into Mr. Robot!


 Rewatches


So basically my rewatches consist of Sam Riley in period costumes being all sexy and bad ass! He played a vampire, a zombie hunter and a vengeful American cowboy in these three movies, respectively. Talk about being versatile!


 Currently Reading

RichardIIIbooks

Learning history hasn’t been this¬†much fun.¬†I’m almost done w/ The Daughter of Time, and of course I picture¬†Aneurin as Richard whenever I’m reading it ūüėČ

Aneurin_Richard1


MOVIE OF THE MONTH

Zootopia_judyhopps

It’s an easy pick this month. Zootopia is by far the best new release I saw this month, and will likely end up in my top 10 best list. Judy Hopps is such an awesome character, perhaps one of the best from Disney yet!


Well that’s my viewing recap of¬†June. What’s YOUR favorite film of the month?

MAY 2016 Viewing Recap + Movie of the Month

May2016Recap

Time for another monthly recap, folks. Well, May is actually not a really great movie-watching month for me after a very busy April. I was pretty busy with my script and also my trip to Montréal/Québec City took up a lot of my time. But hey, I did manage to see Captain America: Civil War twice, and plenty of great rewatches too!

So anyway, here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies
CivilWar

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

OneDay

One Day (2011)

ABiggerSplash

A Bigger Splash (2016)
[review upcoming]

GreatExpectations1998

Great Expectations (1998)

AboutABoy

About A Boy (2002)

UnderCherryMoon

Under the Cherry Moon (1986)


 Rewatches


Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Casino Royale (2006)

Ant Man (2015)

Belle (2013)

Love & Friendship (2016)

Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016)

..


MOVIE OF THE MONTH

LOVEFRIENDSHIP_poster

I went to see this again last night with my hubby and I still loved it!
As I mentioned in my review, this is such a delightful adaptation. Another Austen movie I could watch over and over for years to come.


Speaking of an Austen adaptation…

DarcyBanner

Of course I immediately purchased a Blu-ray copy of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies as soon as I left work. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more ardently in love with Sam Riley’s Darcy [le sigh] I know I’ll work that one to the ground in no time [not to mention my remote pause & rewind buttons, ehm] So yeah, suffice to say this is my favorite rewatch ūüėČ


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

January 2015 Recap + Pick of Movie of the Month

MonthlyRecap2015

First month of 2015 has come and gone. Hello February! This is¬†always a special time for me as it’s my birthday month and I reach a milestone this year [moving up the age bracket ūüėČ ]. I don’t fret about getting older though, as I think you are only as old as you feel and I don’t feel a day over 30, he..he..

Well, it’s kinda been a rather sluggish start as I’ve only seen a paltry 7 new-to-me movies. But hey, I did get to see a lot more TV shows than I usually do in a given month.

Posts you might’ve missed:

Random Cinematic Recap of 2014

Top 10 Best + 5 Worst Movies of 2014

2014 Recap: Top Five Favorite Movie Songs

Ranking the 10 Blindspot Movies I saw in 2014

10 Favorite FEMALE Performances of 2014

Top10FemalePerformances2014

10 Favorite MALE Performances of 2014

2015 Oscar Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

7 Films Screened at Sundance 2015 I’m most curious about

Pictorial birthday tribute to Christian Bale

BdayBale

BLOGATHON:

Thursday Movie Picks #29: Married Couple Movies

New-to-me Movies:

Blackhat

The Guest

Lucy

112 Weddings Documentary

The Hundred Foot Journey

Selma

Selma is in my Top 10¬†of 2014 Movies, even though I saw it in early 2015 I just had to include that on my list. Blackhat proved to be a disappointment, which is a major bummer as I generally love Michael Mann’s work. The Guest, Lucy and The Hundred Foot Journey are all great rentals, definitely worth your while if you haven’t seen them.

Rewatches:

The Dark Knight Rises

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Ever After

So it seems that my hubby & I were in the mood for superhero movies this month. We actually bought the Bluray of X-Men: DOFP weeks¬†ago, and I’m glad we bought it as that movie is as awesome as the first time I saw it. Same could be said with The Winter Soldier, though I find myself liking The Dark Knight Rises a lot more this time around.

January Blindspot:

Rear Window

TV Shows:

Broadchurch – Season 1

Black Sails – Season 2

The Honourable Woman

Galavant

The Flash – Season 2

Fleming

Fave Movie of the Month

RearWindow1954

Glad I finally got to see this Hitchcock classic.¬†Nice to see 2015 Blindspot starts off strong, and¬†I do have 11¬†more to go that I can’t wait to see.


Well, has 2015 started off great for you? What’s YOUR favorite movie of January?

Monthly Roundup & Favorite Movie of SEPTEMBER 2014

Sept2014Recap

Welcome to October, folks! Autumn is officially here, though yesterday morning felt like Winter with temp in the 40s already, ugh. Autumn in Minnesota is rather unpredictable. We went from mini dress + sandals weather to jacket + boots in the span of 18 hours! I sure hope we still get some Indian Summers in October though, fingers crossed.

It’s yet¬†another slow month for press screenings for me. Either the timing doesn’t work out or¬†I’m simply not interested enough in seeing them. I also didn’t watch a lot of new stuff, but did see a lot of old favorites, some are Toby Stephens-related [natch!] But hey, October is TCFF month so there’ll be a heck of movies to watch this month, yippee!!

Posts you might’ve missed:

Blogathon:

Fisti Recastathon: Recasting 3 Oscar-nominated roles w/ 3 actresses of color

New-to-me Movies/TV:

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (2014)

Gotham Series ‚Äď Pilot¬†

Ladies in Lavender (2004)

LadiesInLavender

The main draw for me was of course the two female leads. I LOVE seeing real-life Dame BFFs Judi Dench and Maggie Smith together on film, and they played sisters in this one. Their lives was turned upside down when a mysterious foreigner washed up on the beach of their 1930’s Cornish seaside village.¬†Daniel Br√ľhl played the young stranger whom Dench became infatuated with. It’s a sweet and touching film, though there’s a 30+ age gap between Dench and Br√ľhl, it’s not at all creepy and their bond is more of a soulful nature. The pace is a bit on the slow side though, but the actors were able to keep my interest. There’s drama with a bit of mystery here as¬†Br√ľhl‘s character befriends a Russian woman, played by¬†Natascha McElhone. Game of Thrones‘ actor Charles Dance actually directed this one and I think he did a great job! There’s gorgeous violin music here too, courtesy of Joshua Bell, though Br√ľhl did a convincing job pretending to be a maestro violinist. (3.5 out of 5)

Beginners (2010)

Beginners2010
I’ve been wanting to see this for ages, glad we finally did. It’s quite a moving story about father/son relationship, and how a young man named Oliver deals with his dad, Hal, coming out as gay AND he also has terminal cancer. The story weaves back and forth between the time they spent together and the time following Hal’s death. I thought all the relationships presented in the movie was dealt in a touching, funny and poignant way. Christopher Plummer won an Oscar for his performance and rightly so. But I have to say Ewan McGregor‘s sensitive performance was terrific as well, and so was¬†M√©lanie Laurent and Goran Visnjic in the supporting roles. (4 out of 5)

September Blindspot: Double Indemnity (1944)

Rewatches:

Favorite Movie Seen in September 2014:

This is an easy pick for this month. It’s definitely going to be on my Top 5 Favorite Blindspot films of the year. It’s my first viewing of Barbara Stanwyck but certainly won’t be the last! I need to check out more Billy Wilder’s work, too!

DoubleIndemnityFaveSept14

What I’m looking forward to in October:

TCFF2014bannerOctober is always an exciting time for me because of TCFF. Hope you’ll stay tuned for the coverage and reviews!

What you won’t see here this month is any kind of horror/slasher marathon of any kind. I’m not a fan of that genre nor do I generally celebrate Halloween, so this site will remain relatively horror-free.


So, what movies did you get to see in September and which one is your favorite?

Monthly Roundup & Favorite Movie of AUGUST 2014

Aug2014Recap

I can’t believe we’ve reached the ‘ber’ month already which soon will turn to ‘brrrrr’ months ūüė¶ It’s really quite depressing to see fashion magazines AND stores are now full of sweaters and coats once again. I’m holding off on buying ANYTHING with long sleeves until at least end of September! [yes I’m in denial Summer is basically over].

Ok, on to the monthly recap!

It’s a rather slow month for press screenings as some of them were¬†held in the morning¬†or I’m simply not interested enough in seeing them. But I think the next few months will hopefully be a lot busier. August is definitely a sad month for film fans & beyond. We lost the great Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and Sir Richard Attenborough ūüė¶

Posts you might’ve missed:

Blog Relay & Blogathons:

That last blogathon was a lot of fun to work on all weekend and I REALLY took my time writing and finding photos of Toby Stephens¬†ūüėȬ†Speaking of the handsome devil,¬†I started August¬†by finally catching up with¬†No√ęl Coward‚Äôs¬†Private Lives¬†starring well, you know, which I enjoyed tremendously!

PrivateLives2013

New-to-me Movies:

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Into The Storm (2014)

Zodiac (2007)

Aug Blindspot: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
AmazingSpiderman2

There’s nothing amazing about this one, in fact I’m glad I never bothered seeing it on the big screen. I didn’t care for the Peter-Gwen romance and the villains are laughably bad. Dane Dehaan was okay before he turned into Green Goblin, blech (2 out 5)

Enemy (2014)
Enemy2013
I expected this one to be a weird film and it certainly was.¬†It’s not as disturbing as I thought but it’s definitely a strange film, though the story itself isn’t that groundbreaking. People with¬†arachnophobia should steer clear of this movie though. Jake Gyllenhaal is good playing a dual role,¬†but the pace is far too tedious for my liking. (3.5 out of 5)

Gambit (2012)
Gambit2012
Ok so I’ve been warned by the terrible 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes but I figure a¬†movie starring Colin Firth and Alan Rickman (one of¬†my fave actors ever) in a script written by the Coen Brothers¬†can’t be THAT bad.¬†Alas,¬†despite some comic moments (mostly from Firth in a slapstick mode), there’s very little to recommend this one. Plus Cameron Diaz is as annoying as ever here. (2 out of 5)

The French Minister (2013)
FrenchMinister2013
We’re in the mood for a comedy Sunday night and the trailer for this one piqued our interest. It’s similar to In the Loop but set in France instead of England,¬†with a heck of a lot less swearing. I think it was pretty hilarious¬†and the main actor who plays the Minister’s speech writer,¬†Rapha√ęl Personnaz, reminds me a bit of Jason Bateman with his constantly baffled expression. Highly recommended if you’re in the mood for a zany foreign comedy. (4 out of 5)

Rewatches:

Favorite Movie Seen in August 2014:

This is an easy pick for this month. Though I’m not in love with this movie as most people are, I still think it’s a fun & enjoyable comic-book flick with an¬†absolutely awesome soundtrack. I definitely will rent this later when it’s out on¬†Bluray!

GuardiansGalaxy


So, what movies did you get to see in August and which one is your favorite?