Month: October 2014

Review: Boyhood (2014)

Directed by conversationalist visionary Richard Linklater (Before Sunset Trilogy) “Boyhood” is a movie like nothing you have ever seen before! It was filmed over the course of twelve years and focuses on the life of Marcus (Ellar Coltrane), a young boy learning and growing and dealing with day to day expectations and events surrounding his family.

The one thing I want to stress about this film is that although the plot is incredibly simple, it is the most touching film I have seen in recent years and was an experience like no other. Watching Marcus, his sister (Lorelei Linklater) and his parents (Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette) age before your eyes as the years pass gives a connection to these characters that I have never experienced before, especially the connection with Marcus.

You see all the events of the films only as Marcus sees them, there is no background provided and no scenes take place that he is not a part of. Watching his childhood play out in front of you makes you feel so protective of Marcus, and because you only see what he twists sneak up on you so you feel as shocked and upset and he would.

There is no “Two Years” later that scrolls across the screen as time progresses just the evolving features of the cast members and pop culture references. The soundtrack changes to match the year that you are in which is a subtle and genius touch as people from my generation (who grew up in the nineties) were around (or just a bit older than) Marcus’ age when these songs were popular or these cultural events took place.

I will warn you that this film is very slow paced, it’s not something to throw on for a casual thrill ride and it does feel quite long when you are watching, but it does cover a kids life from age 5 to 18 so that kind of has to be expected. The actors are GENIUS in this film, Patricia Arquette particularly is outstanding as Marcus’ Mother and she gives one of the realest performances I have seen, Ethan Hawke is also fantastic as the distant father who we are unsure whether to trust or not when Marcus is young.

I can not rave about this movie enough! It’s so touching that I cried over and over again, in on scene Marcus is in Junior High School and there is an imminent threat of bullying where I shouted at the TV “Don’t you dare bully him, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HIM” and another scene (which I will not explain in depth for spoilers sake) where I was so angry and upset for Marcus that I had to pause the movie to recover myself. It sounds silly now but wait until you watch it!

I feel like men my age (mid twenties) will especially love this movie, it gives a brutal, realistic and frank depiction of what it means to be and what is expected of you when you are a young man in our society.

Commitment Level: 9 out of 10. If you miss ten minutes you might miss a whole year of his life, stay focused despite the length

Emotional Drain: 9 out of 10. Tears… happy and sad.

Pace: Slow


The Walking Dead Season 5 Premiere!

Season Five starts with a bang, a blindfold and an awful lot of bloodshed. AMC are not wasting any time with the Fifth Season of The Walking Dead.

Last season left our beloved survivors locked in a shipping container, prisoners to the baddies of Terminus with a few still finding their way to the false Utopia and killing creepy children along the way. The good thing about this premiere is there is no real time hop, events take place (what seems like) hours or days after the end of the fourth season and it takes merely one minute before the action gets going!

It should be noted that this episode is shockingly gross, it’s got everything from run of the mill walker carnage to baddies butchering human bodies so just remember what you are going into before you press play, this is The Walking Dead and shit is getting real for the next hour.

As always Glenn and Daryl are glorious and the reluctant (and undeserving) leader of the gang Rick is infuriating, Carol is surprisingly awesome carrying on from her murdering that insane child and finally stepping up to the plate as a real survivor and Carl is… well Carl is still the worst.

The most stressful aspect of the return  is the constant threat of death hanging over baby Judith Grimes (aka lil ass kicker), I want to believe that not even this show could go there, but then again we did see Rick try and cut the pieces of his dead and eaten wife out of a bloated and hideous walker, so it’s a genuinely terrifying experience every time Judith is on screen.

An impressively ambitious plot is set up from this episode, the gang aren’t merely trying to hide or survive, they are taking this shit to DC and plan to fight “fire with fire”  bitcheeesssss!!

Can’t wait for the next installment.

Review: The Honourable Woman

The Honourable Woman
TV Series – BBC2 – 8 Episodes, 2014

honourable woman 2

Who do you trust?

This show is going to punch you in the face from the second you start watching.

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Nessa Stein, the daughter of a very powerful man who was deeply involved in the political shitstorm that is the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Nessa runs her family company, a multi-million dollar organisation involved in a philanthropic mission to reverse her fathers wrongs in the Middle East.

That’s the only background plot I am going to provide because I went into this show with no idea what it was like except the recommendation of a dear friend “It’s gloriously dark.” Which is a very spot on analysis.

The Honourable Woman is one of those rare political-thriller-conspiracy-drama series’ that does not hold back, it’s gritty, emotional, confrontational, controversial and impossible to tear your eyes away from. The only reason I watched this over two sittings rather than marathoning the whole first season in one go was because I felt so emotionally drained I had to have a rest. That being said for those 24 hours between watching I kept asking myself, Who do I trust on this show? The lines of deception between the ‘goodies and baddies’ are constantly being blurred or shredded to pieces with each new piece of the puzzle. It will keep you guessing, and the second you think you’ve got it all figured out the BBC will just punch you in the face again, and again, and again.

The acting is incredibly, the cinematography is brilliant as with most high budget BBC productions and the soundtrack of haunting strings and piercing violin sets the pace.

I recommend this show to those who are not afraid of a deep, dark, intelligent political drama. It’s incredibly complicated and you do need to watch every moment, this is not a relaxing Sunday afternoon break from life show.

I rate this show HIGHLY! Thank you Luke for the recommendation.

Commitment Level: HIGH
There may only be eight episodes, but they are eight exhausting episodes. Prepare your brains.

honourable woman 1