Month: November 2015

Review: Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015)

Oh how glorious it feels to actually write a positive review!!

Jessica Jones is a fresh new series made by Netflix based on the Marvel superhero tale of the same name (or Alias Investigations if you want to get into the semantics). I am seven episodes deep right now and was going to wait until I finished the whole series to review it, but I also figure everyone will have probably binge watched it by then as is the rule with Netflix.

Jessica Jones (Kristyn Ritter) is a woman with “gifts” (superpowers) who gave the whole hero thing a try but it just “didn’t work out” as we learn in the first few episodes. Now Jessica is jaded, hates everyone (and is not afraid to tell them) and runs a Private Investigator business to make ends meet (and keep her powers on the down low).


Cheeky Hobo Nap

This series doesn’t just bumble along following a person with super strength as they solve a series of P.I chores (I’m looking at you “Angel”) but delves into a deep back story of how Jessica became the way she is, not in terms of how she got her powers but how and why she abandoned the life of a hero.

Enter David Tennant, oh dear lord Tennant has really outdone himself here. He plays Killgrave, the sociopathic, 100% bastard, cruel and unusual villain and it is absolutely delicious. Everytime I hear his sinister voice my mind makes “nom nom nom” sounds as I feast upon the no remorse, calculated and sinister character!


Nom nom nom evil Tennant

If you haven’t been a fan of the other superhero themed shows about lately (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Gotham and Netflix’s Daredevil) I recommend you still give this one a try. It’s not all flashy CGI and zingers, in fact the powers of Jessica are really understated to make way for the far more powerful and extremely proficient Killgrave (who has some awesome mind control powers). Not to mention Jessica is very rough around the edges and provides a delightful commentary on how shit people are in general, which I know appealed to me more than Supergirls hopeful and optimistic view of the world.

Another thing I loved about this show is the sountrack! No overwhelming, inspirational superhero themes but instead understated jazz that matches the very film noir techniques used in the cinematography and editing. I would just like to add that I put A LOT of stock in the opening titles of a show, I have very picky taste when it comes to the opening credits and Jessica Jones NAILED IT. Out of all seven episodes I am yet to fast forward the titles which is an honour that I have usually reserve for Xfiles and Doctor Who (I’m sorry Game of Thrones but you guys kind of went into overkill).

I can not wait to get back to this series and see what new awful things Tennant will make people do, they aren’t “blow up this building” or other over the top antics but small and brutal tasks like “see how long it takes you to smash your head through that wall” or forcing children to stand in a cupboard for hours on end, yeah we quickly learn that Killgrave has no time for children. I am also on the edge of my seat to see where he takes his violent mind games in his quest to torture and reap revenge on Jessica Jones. The bad guy can really make or break a show like this and Tennant is slam dunking right in everyone’s face with every line he delivers, glory.


“Watch the entire series in a day”

All in all I would recommend you give Jessica Jones a peek even if you aren’t a fan of the genre, at least give one episode a try and see if it leads you into the Netflix binge spiral that we all know so well!

Check out the trailer and try to resist the delightful allure of evil Tennant…


Spy vs Spy

In the past month we have witnessed the release of two of the years big blockbusters; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Spectre (007). But, which movie is better? If (unlike me) your time is precious (I have nothing but time) and don’t want to waste it on the terrible spy movie instead of the good spy movie this is the review for you.

Unfortunately, I did not expect both of these movies to be as bleak as they were… Yeah if I were you I honestly would not bother with either and here’s why…

We begin on the ground floor, our heroes. Let’s be straight here Bond IS the epitome of a spy, he’s a suave bastard who never misses a shot, always has a quality innuendo riddled zinger, has charm and at all times a part of you really hates him. All qualities we admire. Ethan Hunt on the other hand (played by Tom Cruise) is played by Tom Cruise and has absolutely nothing going for him. Bond wins this round.


You’re god damn right I do.

The Plots. So for some reason the writers of Spectre have ignored the fact that (as mentioned above) Bond is the epitome of spy and will ALWAYS hold that title. They have decided to try extremely hard to make Bond “more relevant” as a character in the modern age, more on that later. The story follows Bond hunt down an organisation named “Spectre” without the permission of M or MI6. He has only the help of a mysterious woman, Miss Moneypenny (future agent) and Q (the tech nerd).

MI: Rogue Nation, as the title suggests also follows our hero going rogue with his small team consisting of… wait.. a mysterious woman, ex-agent Luther (who you may remember from the first one) and his tech nerd  as they hunt down the global organisation of terrorists; The Syndicate.

So I think because the plots in essence are exactly the same, we will call this round a draw.


Are you implying that you aim with your vagina?

The baddies. Ah the bad guys, a key element in a good spy thriller! As I mentioned eariler both films have an evil conglomerate of terror running down to clock to total global domination, but who is at the helm?

Spectre offers up Blofeld played by Christoph Waltz, Waltz is a bad guy BONANZA. I would go so far as to say he has almost reached Alan Rickman level bad guy status. BUT, there is a huge but here, he is in the film for approximate fifteen minutes in total. When you’ve got an actor with the ability to create an aura of absolute nightmares (see Inglorious Basterds) you really should use him to the best of his ability instead of throwing him in only when it’s time to drop some “big reveals.” Not to mention the writing for Waltz was absolutely bleak, there was no finesse or charm amongst his banter with Bond, instead of draping him with the sleek silk dressing gown of evil language the just threw a heshen bag on and said “meh who needs good material when you got Waltz!”


Oh Christoph, where for art thou?

MI Rogue Nation went with Soloman Lane played by Sean Harris (24 Hour Party People and AN IMPRESSIVE resume of English Crime shows). Now this was a bad guy I could get behind, total sociopath with schemes so elaborate and evil you just can’t help but respect the guy, plus he is always one step ahead of our (infuriating) hero. The writing again is pretty awful but at least he is actually in the movie a decent amount.

I have to call this a tie, it goes against my fundamental nature to rule against Waltz despite the shitshow and the writing for Harris was just as awful he simply got more screen time.

The action, there were many times during Spectre I just decided to go and have a cigarette or scroll through Reddit, it was DULL. The action was good but so so so below the absurd glory the Bond films usually bring. Rogue Nation had some quality face punching but won the day for the me with an extensive knife fight. A knife fight is always going to be thrilling, much more unpredictable than a shoot out, more intimate, tenser and especially glorious when those involved fight dirty. I am giving this one to Mission Impossible.


WANTED: Action hero, helmet and charisma optional.

Back to the subject of relevance. The people involved with Bond need to understand that people love the character because he is exactly the way he is. Spectre explores the theme that maybe the 007 program isn’t particularly relevant in the modern world and this feels as if they are testing the waters to see if people in real life feel this way about Bond the character. I think they have greatly underestimated cinema goers here! At a time where (in real life) terror seems to be at the front of the news and there is an actual real life organisation undertaking the exact type of plots Bond used to fight, you don’t really need to be questioning the relevance of a secret agent who is capable of bringing down the most evil of organisations single handedly. Bond thrived during the cold war yes, when the threat of complete and total global destruction was fresh in the mind of the “everyman” and just because the world isn’t on the brink of total nuclear was does not mean people don’t need a hero who can drink a martini then punch the crap out of out someone before speeding off in a silver astin martin. If we went with “relevance” our spy hero would be some schmuck sitting at a tracksuit going through the emails or flying a drone from a garden shed, nobody wants that shit. You don’t go watch a Bond film to see real life, you go watch a Bond film to see a larger than life caricature of what we all imagine to be a spy, a person who can protect the world, win a card game and be in bed with a beautiful woman before dinner because the reality sucks and the reality is spies are actually boring and probably not the heroes we need or want them to be. end rant.

So it was disappointment all round and I refuse to declare a winner. Go see what you want I really don’t think I hold that much influence over your decisions, I’ll leave that to the professionals. *disappears into the shadows*


The first image that came up when I googled “spy.”