Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movie Matinee Madness - I, Tonya

After the slightly awful conclusion to Fifty Shades, I, Tonya was a complete breath of fresh air.

Margot Robbie is simply brilliant as Tonya Harding and Allison Janney sublime. It's a great time for an ice skating film with the Winter Olympics in full swing.

The story about Tonya and Nancy gripped the world and put ice skating as an elite, highly competitive and ruthless sport on the map.

The film has a great supporting cast and a great story to run with but the real stars are Robbie and Janney. Every scene Janney is in she lights up the entire screen.

The language is course, the obstacles Tonya faces are tough, but my gosh does she shine.

I loved every minute of this film and I loved former Neighbours, Brisbane born Robbie showing us and the world maybe Australian films are in a rough place right now (fuck this The BBQ) but man we have some top talent.

So producers out there in this fine brown land lets fund some exceptional stories using our talent making it big in Hollywood and start slaying again. Bojana Novakovic from Satisfaction also has a smaller and supporting role, but man she is another terrific young local talent.

I, Tonya, it's all sorts of brilliant. 4 Stars.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Year of the Bitch

It's Lunar New Year once again and following the same week as Valentine's Day, it's been a busy week. So busy for me means less posts, late posts including my Fresh Friday Countdown only dropping today, Saturday Morning after a hectic week of working, wining and dining and bringing in the Lunar New Year...

The ABC published a brilliant piece on Lunar New Year, HERE. It's interesting and wonderful time of the year, last night we had more fireworks in Sydney and for younger folks Lunar New Year means lucky money...

But with all things fun comes some awkward questions, more here

So dear readers, Happy New Year, well Lunar New Year.

Things start to quieten down next week and hopefully I will have an I Tonya review for y'all soon....

Ok Bye..

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Movie Matinee Madness - Fifty Shades Freed

Happy Valentine's Day, it's time for the final and overdue instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. E.L James books have now reached their climax (fancy marketing distributors) and with the soundtrack coming out last week (see here for more on amazing film soundtracks) the movie acts as a giant marketing vehicle for the soundtrack and maybe Audi as well.

I have to admit I am eyeballs deep in Dornan's devilish good The Fall with Gillian Anderson and loving it sick, so it is hard seeing Dornan as such a dull cleanly shaved bondage lover.

Dakota Johnson is horrific (again) as Ana Steele-Grey, yes we see a wedding at the start of the film, with, you guessed it a song filled montage.

Montage's are common in the final piece to the Shades puzzle. The drama is brief and Rita Ora is painfully bad as as Mia Grey, Dornan AKA Mr Grey's adopted sister.

His past from Detroit comes to bit Dornan on the butt? Yes we do see his perfect bubble butt in this edition, no sausage but we are treated to a gentleman who does believe in a Brazilian. Nice.

So the film, it's like a trashy soap opera not a big budget Hollywood film (that said the first two have made close to a billion dollars) or a Marvel superhero film.

Fifty Shades Freed was never going to get good reviews, it's more event cinema. Marketing has been done well, I after The Fall have also fallen in love with Jamie Dornan however I will be happy NEVER to see Dakota Johnson in another film or TV show for (hopefully) a while.

2.5 Stars, it's finally over, but for those looking for more sex this film seems to have a lot more particularly in the first half.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sunday Night TV just got EPIC

Well Monday's in Australia, but really Homeland is back and Alan Ball returns to HBO with the sensational Here & Now.

Carrie Mathison is back and insane and paranoid as ever, but I think she has reason to be. A female Donald J Trump is in the Whitehouse and proving to be as divisive as the actual Twitter in Chief.

Here & Now is a completely different beast, like Six Feet Under with a sprinkle of sexy True Blood and 11:11 sci-fi Alan Ball has delivered a new gem to HBO.

Homeland has been a favourite of mine, evolved over the past six seasons and this season moves on from the loss of Quinn and continues last years story.

After losing Quinn (Rupert Friend) and formerly Brody (Damien Lewis - soon to reappear on Billions) Homeland has done some serious cast changes over the years. However Danes and Patinkin have remained. The show has had highs, lows, executions and various interesting and involved storylines with this year really being a continuation on the past with the next season set to be the final curtin call.

Here & Now is in a completely different field, fresh slate, sensational cast (see HERE) and a great little family drama.

I am keen on both and they provide a nice distraction from man flu, the Olympics and the piles of reality trash on Australian TV.

Great stories and great characters along with great scripts will always outshine the mundane, these two shows prove this. I am an enemy of average and these shows bring hope to a lacking world of entertainment and media companies. So thank you HBO and Showtime, this is what we need right now, brilliant.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

9-1-1, Heartbreaker

9-1-1 is now easily my favourite new show of the season. Also it's already been renewed for most likely a longer second season.

ABC (US commercial station) has yet to deliver a new show worthy of my viewing and Inhumans has been a major Marvel disaster (ratings wise and no doubt it cost a mint to make).

CBS has delivered S.W.A.T which I am willing to give a go, mainly due to David Lim, however I am yet to watch it.

The CW has given us the improved Black Lightning, slow to start but getting a lot better as the season and the family of Mr Black Lightning develops. Dynasty is a ratings nightmare for The CW and will be banished to Fridays soon. It's been a bit of a hit with the gays and picked up by Netflix to screen weekly however after a long winded camp 22 episode season one, season two is highly unlikely.

FOX has rested the majority of my stories at present, Gotham, Star and Empire however 9-1-1, the latest Ryan Murphy series has gone from strength to strength. I wrote about this series around a month ago after watching the Pilot.

I enjoyed it but didn't love it, now six episodes in and after the brilliant Valentine's Day episode Heartbreaker, this is a top show. With DVR ratings included this show is consistently getting over 10 million sets of eyeballs per week and it was an easy option for Fox to go with season two so early on.

It's a shame we have to wait till the end of the month (Feb 28 to be exact) for an episode titled Full Moon (Creepy AF) which to me sounds brilliant.

Murphy is not exactly kicking goals with the second outing of American Crime Story but this will still have him in demand with TV execs at FOX and Netflix.

Finally NBC have had a tough start to the year also, Blindspot is dying a slow death on Friday evenings and Law & Order: True Crime, did not light the world on fire. Despite the love for true crime and crazy American crimes, this show failed to fire. Rise or Glee Version 2.0 or maybe since it's on NBC Smash Version 2.0 is likely to be a hit and even better for Australian's it will stream weekly on Stan.

All five major networks are already working on 2018-2019 pilots and reboots seem to be in, Charmed and a number of others will possibly replace some of this years failures and ending series.

9-1-1, it gets two blog posts in as many months, great, easy to watch and highly addictive. Murphy has another certified hit on his hands and FOX have made a good call giving this an early green light for the writers to get cracking on season two.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Black Lightning - Three episodes in...

I was really not sold after the first episode of the CW's latest superhero series Black Lightning, however now three episodes deep of this 13 episode debut season, I'm sold.

Different to Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and The Flash, Black Lightning is political, diverse and a good lead in for Black Panther at the cinema.

Going great guns with ratings in the US, this is sure to get a second (most likely longer) second season. The CW is struggling a bit at present, Vampire Diaries is gone, The Originals is concluding and the are only left with a few series that are not DC comic series.

That said Black Lightning feels fresh, the music used is great and the solid cast do their best to bring something new to a very crowded group of DC shows.

If your a fan of your superhero shows, this will sit well on your TV schedule, however if you are over them steer clear. Critics and audiences so far are moist for this so does this spell the end for one of the CW's existing superhero dramas?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Melbourne (Again)

Oh dear Melbourne, after a five day cruise around Hobart, Port Arthur and a few days at sea, this morning I landed (or docked) at Port Melbourne.

And Melbourne has sprung a glorious day in town, with trams flying by, shows playing (currently Priscilla's return season and something at the Art Centre along with various others) and people drinking coffee by the truck load.

A bustling morning in Melbourne is a very different picture to Sydney's (NSW) Making it Happen. Well sorry Glad Bags but nothing is happening in Sydney except contractors being paid large pay packets for projects way over budget and way past their original due dates.

Melbourne has always been a favourite spot for me to visit and the vibe in Melbourne is definitely more up than the downbeat "I can't afford a first home" Sydney.

When comparing the two cities Melbourne is really moving up and up, trams proudly state they are made in Melbourne for Melbourne. Where will Sydney's new trams/light rail vehicle's be sourced from? What about the Metro trains?

Look don't get me wrong Sydney has it's beaches, the bridge (meh, done Bridge Climb, tick, next...), the Opera House and it's multicultural flare but other than that, we have angry people, rude shop assistants, cranky old people listening to Alan Jones in the morning.

Actually listening to Alan Jones would make me fucking livid, so maybe I should leave the old people alone. Like the ones on the cruise I just did pouring their pensions into the pokie machines. Got to love the Beryl's and Cheryl's of the world.

Well Melbourne, it's off for a swim, trip to the casino for a world class pizza and maybe another look at the shops. What a great city that Sydney could learn from, come on Glad Bags hop on a plane down South and see what an operational city looks like, might make you look at George Street, the way I do. Like a US invaded Syria, how are those new weapons going Christine Pyne? Let's keeping following America, the land of the fat, dull and slightly orange.