THERE BE DRAGONS- Roland Joffe returns to the director’s chair with THERE WILL BE DRAGONS, and from the first frame he takes you on a sumptuous visual odyssey. Stunning locales, stunningly photographed, nearly every frame is a painting, what John Alton would call.. painting with light. See it for free on streaming for another few days, but ultimately this is a film you will want to own in the highest quality format available, it is that haunting. Lyric and beautiful, this tale of growing up in a Spain about to give birth to bloody civil war, is told like a fable, and painted with the colors of magical realism.
SHAKMA – One of the most braindead films. The only points of interest in this film are the late great Roddy McDowall (slumming it in a role, that only poverty could have induced him to take) and the fact the film captures some truly startling scenes of baboon ferocity with an actual baboon. How they managed to get these shots, or actors stupid enough to be anywhere near this baboon is a mystery (if the news teaches us anything, it teaches us the idiocy of confusing a trained animal with a safe one). If only the characters, writing and situations weren’t so utterly, staggeringly stupid. The characters are so stupid that it is infuriating, and you want to bludgeon them yourself, especially the supposed lead who is so annoying you just want to bash his brains in, and the film is way too long. However with the fast-forward button at the ready, it’s worth at least a cursory look. Grade: D
“Time is a western thing. It means nothing to them.” The Dutch film A HIJACKING first came on my radar due to its stunning posters sprinkled with accolades. I’m happy to say this film, about a Somali hijacking of a Dutch ship, lives up to its accolades. Tense, riveting and completely captivating till the screen goes black, and told without fanfare, in a claustrophobic, “you are there” manner. Grade: A-.
On the TV note burning through all the seasons of BURN NOTICE. On season four and just loving this show. It’s a fun, easily consumable, addictive watch; partly because it is not as dire and depressing as most of what is on television.
Don’t get me wrong dire and depressing has its place, I love both versions of WALLANDER, I think RIPPER STREET is brilliant, I find the 2nd season of AMERICAN HORROR STORY to be mesmerizing, harrowing,and impressively done (especially surprising considering how moronic the first season was) but these are all shows that you need to space out. In heavy doses they become oppressive and a chore. BURN NOTICE maintains exceptional quality without having to push the gore or aberration quotient, which means its immensely watchable.
THE GOOD WIFE – Finishing up season one of this series, and I can see why it has been called one of the best written shows on TV. Just amazing quality from episode to episode. Simply superb.
SUPERNATURAL – Having finished seasons 1 and 2 of GRIMM and season 1 of ARROW and finishing up FRINGE (all three being shows that deserve being owned in high quality DVD/Bluray versions, chocked full of features and commentaries), SUPERNATURAL is the show that fills my fantasy, universal horror interest. Finally checking out this series, it is solid fun. Like Kolchak meets the Hardee boys.
And let’s close out with a list of some forgettable and mediocre Films and TV shows on Netflix to avoid:
DAWN OF THE DRAGON
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Cult, classic and crazy movies you must see, might see and maybe miss