The sad thing is: I don't feel like I'm living my dream at all. I worried so much about things going wrong that I had no time to enjoy it and the homely feeling that was always present whenever I came here has somehow, somewhere evaporated. I just hope I'm not making a big mistake because my intuition has deserted me (I neither feel bad, nor good about this move... and the latter is a worry in itself). It's really depressing to get to do all the things you always wanted to do - I got to drive off in my car, not stopping (figuratively) until I was here, something I've day-dreamed about doing countless times; I get to call this island "home" now. I even managed to juggle things in a way that makes me able to be in London, of all places! - and not feel it. Or rather, it feels like another business project, executed to perfection down the the smallest detail, but without much emotion. It's not even like I've come here and woken up to discover reality is much bleaker than my dreams. I'm not disappointed by the situation or anything - except in myself for not enjoying this more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime even. I don't think I'll ever be moving to the UK a second time. This is it - and it's passing me by, pretty much like my graduation, which I also couldn't enjoy because I had things to worry about. I'm not precisely worried now, but I'm missing that giddy, ecstatic feeling I'd expect to be experiencing right now. Sure, there have been glimpses of that feeling, but only briefly. Right now, I hope that I'll get back in touch with things when I know what to expect at work and that I guess that I will fall in love with England all over again come Spring...
The great Gatsby – I suddenly felt like watching this drama about the dark side of the American dream, so I did The acting was decent, but not that much room to unfold a performance. I haven’t seen Toby Maguire in anything significant in ages, but he was ok here. Leo DiCaprio didn’t seem like he was acting all that much, which is a sign of quality, I guess.
I have never read the book, but I guess it was a good script adaptation insofar that the story made sense and seemed comprehensive without any gaps. That’s rare in a literature adaptation, I find. But lot of the scenes would have looked better in a play. Indeed, this would be great in a theatre with a minimal cast.
The visual side of things was utterly disappointing. The green screen and CGI work was, frankly, atrocious. The lighting was terribly artificial, too. I didn’t not expect this kind of movie to have such a high percentage of computer-generated footage and stuff. It made the whole thing look not very well-made.
On the plus side, the music was great. Bold soundtrack, gorgeous score, but they could have given the songs more time to play out and generate an atmosphere – because that’s what this film was missing a little. Though it was perfectly paced, it didn’t draw me in emotionally.
„The talented Mr. Ripley“ – I had never seen this one so I watched it with a friend. I don’t quite understand why I should feel for a psychopathic killer, though. At first, I had difficulty pinpointing where the story was going. Also, it was hard to discern the main character’s initial motivations. After that it was just chaos. I do give them credit for winding the thriller tighter and tighter, even when you think it can’t get any worse. But then again, it becomes all too predictable in the end and the main character loses all coherency.
Jude Law was good as the sleek, despicable playboy. Matt Damon also did a great job, especially with the scene where he frightens off Gwyneth Paltrow’s character. But all in all, I don’t really see what’s supposed to be so remarkable about this film. Its message is one we know: Don’t kill people – it never ends well. Anyway, ok film. And I thought it would be something like three hours, but it’s really just two ten. (Again: good pacing! Never boring, never rushed.)
”Ondine” (2009) – Oh, this was a lovely film! I never thought I’d watch it because it just didn’t sound very promising when a friend dropped it off for me ages ago, but that night, it was the first item on my list that caught my eye and I liked it after 20 seconds of the trailer, so there.
So, a cute story about a girl fished from the ocean by an Irish fisherman. The mystical elements were expertly woven into it (and not entirely resolved by the ending, IMO) and it had a very dramatic and gut-twisting turn for the finale. Though the tag line sounds cheesy, the story did not seem generic at all.
The acting was delicious. Alison Barry is a revelation, expertly delivering her lines and bringing across that wise, little girl perfectly. Colin Farrell with his greasy, grey-streaked hair was also great (though they could tone down the eye liner a bit). By now, I appreciate his proficiency. Everyone else was marvellous, too.
On top of that, the Irish landscape played an important role. It was breath-takingly atmospheric and mystical... great choice for lighting and colour palette. It really added that special feeling, so kudos to the cinematographer.
Finally, there’s the soundtrack with hauntingly simple tunes and some Sigur Ros, for good measure. I immediately recognised it and was thrilled – and then it was even named in the film, playing and important role. What was fantastic was that this kind of music fits perfectly with those kinds of pictures.
All in all, a gripping film with stunning visuals, great atmosphere and a good story. Definitely a recommendation!
„Jane Eyre“ (2011) – Found this on my HD and the trailer looked surprisingly intriguing, so I sat down for this Victorian classic. A good film! Of course, the story and the characters are a bit bewildering to the modern audience, but it’s good thought exercise to imagine how life would have been back then. It must have been incredibly hard and uncomfortable and I’m grateful for living in one of the most advanced countries in the world today, where a situation like this one would not ever appear.
Anyway, I’m rambling. So: on to the movie. The acting was fantastic. This was the first film with Michael Fassbender where I really go the chance to enjoy his acting. Mia W. was also delightfully Victorian. Jamie Bell was lovely too. I don't see enough of him. All parts were cast very well.
Visually, this was also stunning. I could find no flaws in the exquisite costumes, the incredible sets, the natural-looking lighting etc. A very well-made film with conventional editing, good pacing and a moving score.
Ok, I’m too tired now to think of more things to say.
“The Interpreter” - Very good political thriller about a UN interpreter who overhears something she shouldn’t. I have to confess, the finer plot points went over my head because it all seemed very convoluted and confusing. But I hope I got the gist of it, mostly the warring concepts of right and wrong in the name of the greater good.
In any case, it was a very gripping movie. Kidman and Penn have excellent chemistry here and everybody delivers great performances. Also, looking at their blue eyes, I’m reminded that we are distant relatives (all blue-eyed people have a common ancestor some 6000 years back), which is a cool thought.
From a technical point of view, this was also well-made, though I think they could have put a bit more thought into FBI and Secret Service work because I don’t believe things really work like that...
Anyway, good film. Maybe I’ll get the details watching it a second time.
“Good Will Hunting” – I think I saw bits and pieces of this over the years on TV, but somehow those left a completely wrong impression and I never got around to watching this start to finish. I’m glad I did it now. This drama about a maths genius kid was really good, with a complex, but strangely likeable protagonist and straightforward, perfectly-paced story telling. I liked the depth of all the characters. They all seemed very human without becoming overly dramatic or cliché.
Good acting, too, though a few ad-libbed scenes were obviously included. I really like that they got Robin Williams and Stellan Skarsgård on board for this and it goes without saying that I love Matt Damon (and Ben Affleck as well).
Sets were obviously small, but effective. It looks like this movie worked on a budget, but they did the best they could, achieving a very gritty 90ies look, almost like a time document.
The score was a complete mess. I’ve never heard anything like it. It sounded like Danny Elfman put two or even three separate pieces of music on top of each other.
All in all, a very well-written piece of work from start to finish, with deep characters and fantastic dialogue, great banter and wit. And an ending I can really live with.
"Swiss Army Man" - After all the conflicting reviews about this, I went to the cinema with a friend to form my own opinion. It was not a terrible movie. There actually were some pretty funny moments, but I discovered that I found a lot of things hilarious that didn't make anybody else in the auditorium laugh... Awkward!! (It was mostly puns, which, I guess, the audience of non-native-speakers just didn't get.) And the fart humour was not that cringe-worthy (or even as copious) as I expected. The acting was nothing to write home about, though I have to hand it to Dan Radcliffe again that he manages to NOT remind me in any way of Harry Potter. The plot itself was full of illogical silliness. I also sense a bigger metaphor hidden in here. In fact, the whole movie - especially with that weird ending - feels like an allegory on life or something, but it was too well-disguised for me to make complete sense of it. Ah, and I greatly disliked the score.
Anyway, not a film to write home about, but I don't regret watching it, either.
Oh yes, and it was pretty much "what the hell" all the way through.
Three-hour-fan-edit of "The Hobbit". On the one hand, I have to say the cutting down of these three movies to one long film succeeded in seriously condensing the story telling, taking out more or less all of the boring bits and stretches, the nonsense about Radagast, the White Council, battles and so forth, while adding selected, yet important, bits from the extended version. On the other hand, this format shows up the inconsistencies and flaws in the original script and mistakes in directing, either because of the numerous original faults in the writing, or because the original cut just plain stretched so long across one scene that you had forgotten the beginning by its end, thereby covering up those mistakes that become noticeable here. In the edit, some aspects become downright nonsensical, like the crucial decision of Bilbo's to accompany the dwarfs, after all. To be fair, that and other things were handled better in the long version. The character developments suffer seriously, at least where they were noticeable before, namely with Bilbo and Thorin. Most actions become unexplained, motives remain hidden.
It’s lovely that Bilbo seems to be truly the center of this version of the movie. However, it makes all the dwarves look like slobs. Bilbo does ALL the work. And I mean ALL of it. They would be utterly helpless without him. Let’s recount, shall we: killed by trolls before even reaching the Misty Mountains, taken captive unawares in the goblin cave and likely killed in their sleep, butchered by Beorn, drowned in the Enchanted River, eaten by giant spiders, left to rot by Thranduil, incarcerated by the Major of Laketown, not able to find the ladder to the postern gate in time, not able to find the key hole,... They are utterly useless and would have given up long ago if not for Bilbo.
I also love the portrayal of Bilbo as a strong, intelligent, independent character. He’s the only one showing some sense.
This was an impressive, yet sad demonstration of how even the editing can’t save a terrible script. This had some gems, but they all came from Tolkien or Martin Freeman himself. Thought I have to say, the most iconic lines were tragically wasted. So, I'm not completely happy with this version, either. As a reader of the book, I would say it's more of a chapter-by-chapter moving illustration, little scenes that have difficulty finding a red thread of connection, a binding arch that can draw you in emotionally. But it makes me want to read the book again.
PS: the one thing (besides casting Martin Freeman as Bilbo) they got indisputably right in this movie was Smaug. Even in 2D he was still creepy as hell, a children's book dragon, grown up.
"Doctor Strange" - Saw it in 3D (no cheaper version available) but it was worth it. I don't know the comics, but this seemed like a pretty well-made film, all things considered. The plot was tight enough not to make the 130 min. runtime boring (there was only one philosophical speech scene and one fight scene that could have done with trimming). I feel here is some wasted potential for a bit more emo-drama, eg. like in IronMan 3. Benedict Cumberbatch was a perfect choice and he did a lovely job with all those emotions and the hero's journey. To be honest, though, the way the character was written, he did remind me strongly of Sherlock (with lots of Derek Shepard mixed in), with his arrogance and quips, and they certainly put in a few reminders (most notably, flipping up his collar, but other things too). There were some hilarious one-liners. The acting was good on all parts, actually, but I expected nothing less. Tilda Swinton was unexpectedly quirky. I did not anticipate that in this role.
Visually, this was masterfully done by all rules of the trade. The CGI and visual effects were flawless. I absolutely loved the sparks-and-embers effect of the portal magic and the bended reality scenes came across stunning in 3D. I couldn't spot a single flaw in the animations. However, there were one or two instances with flawed directing (or editing. Not sure what caused the inconsistencies), eg. Dr. Strange operating without mask (what the hell??) and then suddenly everybody's wearing masks after the dialogues concluded. The fight scenes also were beautifully choreographed. Cumberbatch certainly is up to the physical side of things, too.
The score didn't blow me away, but it added to the mix.
Oh, and good make-up and costumes, though they overdid it a bit with the scar tissue on Dr. Strange's hands.
Anyway, all in all an enjoyable ride. 4/5. Looking forward to seeing this again, if possible as a director's cut.
Oh, and about half the theatre walked out before the after-credits scene. What n00bs.
PS: Now I can't wait to read some Sherlock/Doctor Strange crossover fanfics!!
"Wüstenblume" (Desert Flower) - Watched this biopic drama on Netflix due to nothing better to do. It's about a Somali woman emigrating to London and becoming a supermodel - and the first advocate against female genital mutilation. It's a very strong story with decent acting (Timothy Spall is absolutely brilliant as portly, slightly dishevelled star photographer with a sensitive heart) and a moving soundtrack, shot mostly on-location. Despite the heavy message (and sometimes unexpectedly disturbing footage), it was well-made, and this topic deserves attention, especially in this day and age, because backward "traditions" like this one are just one of the most obvious signs of inequality between men and women.
"Star Trek - Beyond" - Got this from the video rental store after having waited for ages. Despite the nutty concept (I mean, clearly, somebody watched too much Mars Attacks, and also had their imagination run amok in other ways), this turned out to be quite an engaging film. Had me glued to the screen, leaning forward in my seat through most of it (less because of the plot, though. It was more of a scene-by-scene tension. At some point, I though "what? This is all the plot is about? That's terribly generic."). I love the banter and the camaraderie, the comfortable friendships. Very endearing. It also had some genuinely hilarious moments that had me really laughing hard, and some very good, profound one-liners. Furthermore, I can see that this would have looked great in 3D.
The script had a bit of a disjointed feeling, like somebody had written it, saying "Guys, wouldn't it be cool if they did this?" or "That's going to make a great frame. How can we get them there?" and then they joined those scenes together. Like Monty Python's Holy Grail, only less funny. The editing was rigorous, obviously getting rid of some of the linking moments that would have made this feel more like a whole, but that cut down on runtime, which made the movie a reasonable length of just under two hours.
The acting was mostly good. It's always nice to feel that people are having fun on set. Karl Urban had a few lines where the delivery was too strong and stilted, but seemed to settle into it after a bit, too. The human side of Spock is lovely to see, Zachary Quinto does a great job there (and why can't he just make "lots of Vulcan babies" with Uhura?? I have the feeling that's kind of the conclusion he arrives at in the end, too ). Chris Pine is beginning to infuse Kirk with the necessary gravitas, too.
The visuals were a bit too computer-based for me. I mean, the original series (and most of the follow-ups) did either "real" effects or tried to avoid CGI. I think that was the right idea. Too much visual opulence is kind of distracting.
Ok, this review is really unstructured, but I liked the film. It was solid entertainment and I'm still not tired of the reboot, but hungry for more.
PS: watched the DVD extras and am appalled by how tacked-on the bit about Anton looks. They don't even explain why it's there.
"Captain America: Civil War" - I guess this was decent entertainment as far as action films go, but it lacked soul (slightly better than Winter Soldier, though). It's getting a bit old that Cap and Bucky are alternatively trying to kill and not-kill each other. Also, these movies are getting too full of characters. The need to give everybody room to unfold is one explanation for the run-time. I think they could have used that editor from Star Trek, though, who would have managed to keep this epic reasonably short and snappy, because honestly, this draaaged. After about half of it, my attention began to drift, especially since, though the script was alright, I got confused by the finer plot points once again. Ultimately, I'm totally on Tony's side, though, and I love that they took up the issue of collateral damage as the main point of this movie. All the destruction and death these "saviours" bring has been bothering me for quite some time and I'm glad they address this. I especially like how immediate this problem feels to Tony and I love how they continue to explore his human nature here, and the depths of his guilty conscience. I would have liked to learn more about him and Pepper splitting up. That added even more to his puppy-dog sadness. He remains the most interesting character of them all.
So, the plot was a bit lengthy, the twist came at a point where I just couldn't be bothered to care any more. But the acting was flawless. They are really losing someone perfect with RDJ (I think this was his last Marvel film). I've even grown used to Vision (I love Paul Bettany, but he didn't seem the right choice in Age of Ultron). I adored Daniel Brühl and Martin Freeman. The funny thing is, Daniel had a major part and only appeared in the credits as an afterthought. Martin didn't seem all that different from John Watson in military mode, which was kind of distracting.
The visuals were mostly good, though there were some over-the-top designs. Most obvious example: those nutty prison arrangements. CGI is getting so good you can't even see it any more. However, in the DVD extras, I learned that they also had a lot of epic practical effects and I thought those were buried underneath the flood of CGI so that you can't really appreciate how awesome they are any more because you can't tell them apart.
I barely noticed the score, but there was one song in the soundtrack: "Left hand free" by Alt-J is, hands down, my favourite from the band and it brings just the right groove to the screen. Great choice!
So, all in all, entertaining, but not really captivating. I had no problem disengaging from the screen a few times to go somewhere.
"La Famille Bélier" - My mom got this little French feel-good coming-of-age movie for Christmas. At first I didn't want to watch this film about a hearing girl with a singing gift in a deaf farmer's family, but the singing caught my ear. This was a well-acted movie with a good, if predictable story. I think it's a bit sad to handle a sensitive and important topic like this kind of disability in such a generic way, but you have to start somewhere.
Primer – This sifi drama? Thriller? Mystery? about two guys building a kind of time machine in their garage went a little over my head. Think “Inception” but REALLY complicated, mixed with “Prestige”. Beyond the overall plot concept, I didn’t grasp any of the finer points of what happened.
The actors were decent. The whole production looked home-made, but in a good way with minimal budget, sort of a down-sized version of “Moon”.
So, maybe I’ll get this if I watch it again. Maybe I’ll understand it with the use of subtitles. As it stands, I can’t really say much else about this film apart from that the score was lovely.
Mr. Holmes – What a beautiful movie about an ageing Sherlock Holmes struggling with dementia, outstandingly played by Ian McKellen. His performance gave heart and depth to an aloof character, showing a realistic picture of old age. In fact, his Holmes reminded me a lot of my granddad, who is 93. In Milo Parker, he had a shining co-star as his young friend Roger. I thoroughly enjoyed his lively and enthusiastic performance, which still had a subtle edge to it that spoke of a mature actor. All other supporting roles were also flawlessly cast, though I’m a bit sad we didn’t actually get to see Watson. Then again, I suppose this film was all about Holmes and it was certainly a conscious decision to exclude the doctor.
The movie was beautifully made, with gorgeous shot compositions – a painting each, wonderful colours and pictures of the English countryside. The costumes were flawless and elegant, perfectly capturing the Victorian era at the turn of the century and onwards. Together with a soft score by Carter Burwell, it made both a romantic and melancholic picture, entirely about having to let go of the past while still trying to hold on.
So, a touching piece of work that lives off the acting of McKellen and Parker. The duo are a delight to watch, sticking their heads together like a pair of school boys while the mother stands in the background, scowling.
An Education – still slightly ill with a cold and bored to death with no internet connection (I discovered to my horror in recent days that I, too, might be suffering from a slight case of online addiction!) I’m clearing my list of un-watched movies bit by bit and came across this one. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this romantic coming-of-age story... well, more of a cautionary tale... about a teenage girl falling for a charming petty criminal. Carry Mulligan was fabulous (and really did look all of 16), as was Peter Starsgaard (I thought they had misspelled his name in the credits, but it turns out he's not related to the famous Swedish acting family), who brought all the charm and charisma needed for this role (and reminded me of Ewan McGregor at every turn). On top of everything, this was a lovely period piece set in the 60ies without turning too much hippie-and-freedom, despite the story of an older man seducing a young girl, which spoke of freedom of choice about who you want to be with despite social conventions.
The whole plot was handled skilfully and delicately and I found it realistic without being sappy and over-the-top. It was foreseeable that there would be a twist somewhere. The only thing that chaffed a bit was the moral preaching at the end, which turned this into more of a cautionary tale clearly intended for young women.
Anyway, well done, not too boring, lovely acting, realistic and touching romance of the kind that every girl wants to have (apart from the final bit). Not sure who I would recommend this film for, though, despite it (surprisingly) not being an utter waste of time.
The Descendants – I never really wanted to watch this but it was the only movie on my tablet and I had time to kill on the night train to my new life. I am very sorry to say that I completely underestimated this film. It’s so much more than a throw-away. I was surprised by this heart-felt and soulful family drama. George Clooney absolutely blew me away. He was fantastic, giving a moving, honest performance without growing too sappy. You could really believe his helpless confusion about what to do, how to react to the situation, deal with his kids,... But he managed to walk that line between ridiculously sappy and businesslike distance (makes me think of how spectacularly Ben Affleck failed in Gone Girl... Clooney definitely doesn’t fail). The kids were also great. The film was well-shot and lit to perfection, with a vibrant colour pallet, making it visually very pleasing, too. The soundtrack took a bit of getting used to, but underlined the emotion beautifully in the right places. I like this film for its understated drama, despite the serious topic. Good one.
PS: I thought I had misheard, but apparently there really was a King Kamehameha in Hawaii! I thought they were just making hidden Dragonball Z in-jokes
High strung – This teen drama about a dancer and a violinist is so generic it’s ridiculous, but still somehow gripping. The dialogue is so run-off-the-mill and poorly written you might just as well turn it off. The whole film lives and dies with the editing, which does make the dance scenes better than in most films. But the acting is horrible. The whole thing feels like a non-stop music video. It turned truly ridiculous when they had a dance-off in the tube... The main actress looks like a lifeless doll and the violinist like someone picked purely because his face looks like he could model for anything from Lagerfeld to H&M.
The violin dubstep ala Lindsey Stirling was good, though (but that’s because I like this kind of music). I would also love to be able to dance, but even 2 years of courses couldn’t teach me a thing
Sully – I thought this biopic/drama about the aeroplane captain who landed on the Hudson river was well-made, and within a reasonable run-time of 95 minutes. If this had been made by Peter Jackson, they would just have extended the 208 seconds across a 3-h-film, possibly two. I read a lot of moaning about this film, but I found it really touching and quite refreshing due to the unconventional approach from the other side, showing the story behind the headline. Tom Hanks was brilliant as always. Even though I’ve only seen Captain Sullenberger in a few interview clips, I can see how Hanks studies him and got into the character 100%. I also loved Aaron Eckhart and the supporting cast. Everybody did a great job!
All in all, a good drama. I really enjoyed that they didn’t do any of the things one would expect from material like this. That alone makes the film stand out, almost like a documentary.
The girl on the train – This crime thriller about a cheating husband turned out to be not so thrilling. In fact, it bored me after 15 minutes. I was annoyed by the misuse of slomo, giving the film a bad start already. Also, it’s hard to feel for a protagonist who comes across as a crazy drunk from the very first moment, not matter how the story turns out in the end. I can’t deny that the acting was great (love Justin Theroux, though he does seem to get typecast), but the script seemed more like a play than a film. I didn’t enjoy it.
“The Legend of Tarzan” – I expected this to be a cheesy, warmed-over action movie version of the Disney film and all other incarnations, something trashy and undemanding to watch. So, like it often turns out when you walk into something with zero expectations, I was pleasantly surprised to find this a decent film for a one-time viewing. Yes, the visuals were sloppy and uninspired, with terribly rendered apes and atrociously obvious green-screen. The sets and costumes also seemed made with utilitarian and economic aspects in mind instead of care and passion (They overlooked details like: How is Tarzan beardless in the jungle, when his hair is all matted dreadlocks?). But the actors did their best not to let this become a total travesty and the script helped, being actually quite refreshing for the first 35 minutes or so until you realise this is not quite the re-make film you thought it was, though the memories telling the famous backstory appeared at completely random moments and disrupted the flow of the story in the typical David Yates manner, which makes sense, looking back (I didn’t know he was attached.) I NEVER would have expected David Yates to be the director of this. How could he mess up the Harry Potter movies so badly when he can deliver at an ok (but no more than that) standard here? Also, according to IMDB, Yates wanted Alexander Skarsgard: “The Tarzan in my head was tall and vertical and had real length. I love Alex's verticality, his poise, his grace. It was always Alex for me.” In other words, Yates didn’t want a drunk or dead person – someone horizontal – to play the part. What a great director! Epic facepalm.
Finally, lovely score, again by Rupert Gregson-Williams who seems to be taking over from his brother left and right. I also loved the song by Hozier.
So, utterly forgettable but doesn’t feel like a complete waste of time to watch once, if you’re in the mood. Alexander Skarsgard certainly is eye candy for everyone (I kind of pity him, actually, because you can see how serious he takes this particular job, poor guy.)
Ok, did some reading, too. I'm trying to go through all my accumulated David Gemmells and also read...
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Wow, this book was vomit-inducingly terribly. If it were a fanfic instead of a book that somebody paid actual money for, I would have ditched it after the second scene. J.K. has some nerve having her name printed in huge letters on the cover when this mess is not even her crime, but some cheesy, badly-written, cliché-filled piece of fanfic. The characters were unstable and annoying with both kids and adults acting far beyond their age and completely out of character. The dialogue was so cringe-worthy in places that I wanted to throw the book at the wall, and the overall plot… I felt like I had read fanfics like this one a hundred times, but also done a hundred times better. The plot certainly had the potential to become a half-way decent, 1000 page fanfic, but only in the hands of a good writer with a grasp of the characters. I did my best to visualise the scenes, but it was useless. They just moved too far beyond the source material.
I can’t believe how horrible this book was! And the stage instructions! How would it even be possible to put something like this in a theatre?? I’m just floored at the overall horrendously poor quality of this piece of "literature". *shakes head*
Meanwhile, David Gemmell’s ”King beyond the gate” is shaping up to be every bit as brilliant as I remember it.
Westworld - Binged-watched this while ill with a cold in London, trying out my new bed at length. Visually impressive with fantastic acting and a story that had just the right amount of mystery without being frustrating. The pacing was a bit fast at times and some of the turns predictable, but all in all a thought-provoking series somewhere between "The Matrix" and any philosophical human rights AI movie.
Sherlock Season 4 - Any thoughts on the finale? It felt awfully like an ending to the series, like they are not at all sure if there's going to be another one... But at least, they wrapped it up nicely for all the shippers out there (no matter the pairing. Sherlolly, Mystrade, Johnlock... everybody got their finale). All in all, better than last season, for the most part, with a number of genuinely beautiful and emotional moments, but still nowhere near the level of the first two season - and the writers have clearly realised that because they composed what was very clearly an ending to the series. It's not officially over yet, but it might as well be, and though the last episode was mostly bullshit, turning the characters on their heads and doing frustratingly generic, stupid stuff, it did pull off the impossible: It verified Johnlock AND Sherlolly AND Mystrade (and probably a ton of other ships I didn't catch) all at the same time while still keeping it platonic. They tried very hard to make everybody happy, especially the Johnlockers, without coming right out and being explicit, and I felt that was very generous and well-done. The episode received a lot of hate on the net for not being explicitly Johnlock, but I actually think they needn't have been any more obvious. It was quite clear that they are a couple now, in this incarnation. They are raising a child together, for godssake! I'm very grateful that they didn't end this like "House MD", stringing the fans along for years and then leaving them completely empty-handed. The only worry I have is what will happen if the DO continue this, because then they will have to follow through... That could be a huge deterrent to any follow-up season.