The Sound of Music

With the release for the upcoming film, Yesterday, a story about how the world forgot the Beatles and one man’s cash grabbing journey to bring back their songs, expected in the summer, I began to think about how music plays a role in our viewing experience. Obviously this isn’t a new thought but just imagine watching Inception without the ominous tones in the background, or watching The Lord of the Rings without the epic orchestras in Middle Earth. There wouldn’t be half as much enjoyment.
While the strings, woodwinds and the bass have a special place in my heart when it comes to cinema, I believe there’s nothing more brilliant than a movie that has a beautiful soundtrack of pop, rock and indie songs. Especially when songs are used at the perfect moment.
The catalogue of Beatle’s songs would be enough for two films and another hour of outtakes. I am interested to see what songs are used where and if indeed the trailer didn’t just show us what songs will be used. I’m sure there’ll be a montage where the main character is having the time of his life and all of the songs are rolled into one long medley. Obviously this will then be followed by some crushing revelation from a loved one or a stranger and he will have to rethink his new career choice. Does he go for the money or the love? Oh yeah, it’s in the feckin’ trailer. Predictable? Yes. Will I watch it? Of course. Are you going to get a list of movies with great songs at the right moment right now? Yes.

Me Before You (2016)

Anyone who knows me knows I’m more than a sucker for a romcom; I actively go searching for them and wallow in misery afterwards at how alone I am… wow, got deep very quickly. What am I even doing with my life? Lol jk, that’s a whole other post. Anyways, this particular book turned film tells the story of Lou, a happy young woman with no real direction in life or money, but she has her family and a boyfriend, even if they do drive her up the wall. Enter Will, the posh, rich local boy who lost the power of his body from the chest down after an traffic accident. He has become a negative recluse and Lou becomes his endlessly positive personal carer. Cue fights, snarky remarks-cum-flirting and obviously romance. As Lou travels to Switzerland to see Will for possibly the last time she looks out the plane window and Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph” starts to play. I can’t find the exact footage but if you saw the film then you know how gutwrenching the choice of music is and how much you want to cry when seeing it for the first time. But I did not cry for I am man, and man does not cry. We hunt and drink for we are men*.

 

About Time (2013)

What a movie. What a concept. What amazing performances from Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams. What a fantastic use of the song, “How Long Will I Love You”, originally penned by the Waterboys in 1989 and covered in this film by Sam Sweeney, Ben Coleman and Jon Boden. The song plays as a montage of Tim and Mary shows their blossoming romance. Of course, the film has much more poignant moments and delves into the question of time travel and its moral consequences, which is prevalent in any romance! Shout out to Keli for reminding me of this scene and inspiring this post. Go on Kel.

 

Gladiator (2000)

A bit of a break from my romcom filled life but the inclusion of this song at the very end of this masterpiece was a sublime piece of filmmaking, editing and songwriting. “Now We Are Free” begins to play right after the climactic fight scene between Maximus and Commodus. He lies there, dead, his prisoners freed and this absolute tune plays as Marcus Aurelius’ foresight that Maximus would be a far better leader than his own son Commodus rings true. He was a soldier of Rome and if he were around today, would have been a banging DJ.

 

Eighth Grade (2018)

I’ve written about Bo Burnham’s directorial debut already. It will undoubtedly be a contender for film of the decade, not just because of the director’s vision and script but because of the performance of lead actress, Elsie Fisher.
“Orinocco Flow”, one of Enya’s many instantly recognisable songs, has been used in countless films and is a part of numerous people’s Spotify’s Most Played of 2018 soundtracks. It is used flawlessly in this film. Kayla (Fisher) is scrolling through Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram before bed, watching a host of different videos and taking quizzes to find out what imaginary character she would be in a different life. The whole time her face remains expressionless, not registering one piece of emotion, even when one of the mean girls in school who she so desperately wants to be friends with invites her to her pool party. The scene is a perfect contrast to the song, so full of emotion and longing while Kayla longs to be a part of the mainstream and the cool kids.

 

Sex Education (2019)

OK, not a movie but one of the brilliant Netflix originals that has come out recently. Normally, I wouldn’t click on a new Netflix release for a couple of weeks, or even months. I don’t know if it’s because I’m  a bit of a snob with tv and don’t want to be a sheep and watch something that everyone else is watching. Maybe it is because I get quickly bored with tv nowadays and didn’t want to have it sitting in my ‘Continue Watching’ if I wasn’t going to finish it. In reality it is due to the fact that I will continue to watch Friends, The Office and Parks and Rec while leaving new shows pass me by. However, this show drew me in straight away. Probably because the letters ‘S’, ‘E’, and ‘X’, were emblazoned across my screen and I am a young male.
The show is funny, topical and fantastic. It introduces some new faces that will be on our screens for years to come and Gillian Anderson of ‘X-Files’ and ‘The Fall’ fame plays a sex therapist. Do with that what you will, guys and gals. The scene below is funny in the context of the show but also it reintroduces you to an absolute banger. Skip to 1:05 for the song.

 

List done. Watch now. Share please. Validate me.

 

Can You Ever Forgive Me? Review.

 

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“Back once again.” The reviews are back! Ger Canning has uttered this iconic phrase in countless G.A.A. matches broadcast on live television over the last number of decades. I reached out to him to ask would he record it for me so I could have it playing whenever someone opened an article of mine. Ger, ever the joker, replied via his family, agent and the Gardai, and said, “For the last time, leave me and my family alone. I rue the day I stopped and talked to you in Tesco in Mahon Point. Legal action will follow unless you stop cold calling me in the middle of the night. I don’t know how you got my house number. I am a human being and you are driving me insane. May God have mercy on your soul.” Ah Ger, what a chancer. If you’re reading this, I’ll get onto you later around 2 a.m. Keep the phone on!

Now, onto serious stuff. The movie Can You Ever Forgive Me? caught my eye due to the many nominations the cast received across multiple academies and committees. Also, it was the only thing that I knew would be quiet at my local cinema, the Reel Picture Blackpool ( hashtag ad). I knew it wasn’t a comedy but with Melissa McCarthy leading and Richard E. Grant in a prominent supporting role I had a feeling there would be some comic moments.

McCarthy plays Lee Israel, a down on her luck author who has just lost her job for drunken behaviour, has a fraught relationship with her agent and is months behind on her rent. Israel does not have any redeemable qualities that we can see and is told by her agent that she, “…is not famous enough to be an asshole.” She has a sick cat that she cannot afford to take care of and the biographies that she is writing to stay afloat are on the sale rack. After selling a letter of a famous author toa bookshop owner played by Dolly Wells, she quickly realises that she could make a hefty profit by forging letters of other well known figures. She has made a living writing books about other people so she knows she can impersonate them in her letters.
She meets Jack Hock, played by Grant, at a bar in Manhattan, remembering when she first met him and he went to the bathroom in a closet (hashtag Jonny Melia, hashtag ad). Hock is hilarious, flamboyant and the perfect positive tonic to Israel’s cynicism and misery. After letting him in on her secret cash cow and after duping half of Manhattan’s bookshops and collectible dealers into believing her ruse, she and Hock come under the suspicion of the FBI. Sabotaging her rathionship with Anna, the bookshop owner and Hock himself, Israel is finally caught and sentenced to house arrest, probation and monetary restitution.
The movie ends with Israel and Hock reuniting in the same grimy bar they met in. They bury the hatchet and he agrees to let her write a book about their escapades, ever his funny, charming self. This never happened in real life but it was a good end to a fine movie.

The movie itself is enjoyable if a bit slow. The topic of literary forgery does not sound all that interesting but the revelations that there are seedy characters in the literary world such as Israel herself, made it an easy watch. The fact that the FBI were involved in her subpoena was amazing to learn. The dynamic between McCarthy and Grant was brilliant and really saved the movie from being a bore. That said, it dragged towards the end and I did find myself looking at the clock on my phone. While I know that with a film such as this the devil is in the details but if the movie was about fifteen minutes shorter then it would’ve been a small bit more enjoyable.
I couldn’t think of anyone that I would recommend the movie to after watching, but it wasn’t a total waste of an hour and forty minutes. If I was to give it a rating out of a number that I will make up right now, I would give it a 3.5/5. Some funny moments but I’m not sure if this book warranted a movie. That said, the performances of McCarthy and Grant saved this production and both, especially McCarthy, deserve their nominations.

 

My movies of 2019

Happy New Year, one and all! A number of people online, as well as publications, have released their favourite movies of 2018 online. I was very tempted to steer away from any creative ideas of my own and just hop on the bandwagon. In the end, I decided to just leave a little list of what my favourite movies were of this year and then start talking about what’s coming up in 2019. Usually I’d have some witty little anecdote or fictional story here but I’ve just told you what I’m going to write so I might as well just do it. Yeah. Read on, I guess.

Top Movies of 2018 – M’List (tips fedora)

  • Molly’s Game – I was sent this by a resident in the building. Impressive leading cast with Jessica Chastain supported by Idris Elba and Michael Cera. It’s about Molly, an Olympic skier who, following an injury, naturally becomes a poker Queenpin and rakes in millions from her underground games. Of course she is then targeted by the law, the mob and disgruntled celebrities because of her money and, more than likely, gender. 4/5.
  • Black 47 – I wrote a review of this in an earlier blog but the Irish famine inspired tale of the deserter soldier who returns home and exacts his own war of vengeance on the British would send any man into a patriotic frenzy. Luckily I was on my own in the cinema and the adrenaline died down after the credits. 4.5/5.
  • A Star is Born – A friend and I watched this again last week in a hungover stupor and both were fairly emotional after it. The film holds up the second time around, as do the songs, both lead actor’s performances, and the intense hatred I felt for Allie’s agent when he practically kills Jack. Prick. 4/5.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – I also wrote a review of this in an earlier blog. I loved this movie. A lot of people gave it crap reviews because of the gaps in the history of the band or the lack of context and background info about certain incidents. For me, it was brilliant. Rami Malek was Freddie Mercury, and the supporting cast were fantastic too. It helps if you love Queen but the movie is solid. The last 20 minutes in Wembley are sublime. 4.5/5.
  • Eighth Grade – Another one I covered, Bo Burnham’s directorial debut was perfect. Telling the story of awkward 13/14 year old Ellie, it encapsulates what it was like to be that age again; awkwardness of crushes, being invited or not being invited to parties and trying to ‘fit in’. Despite being set in the modern day, I think that anybody who watches this movie would cringe at their past selves, but also really enjoy the movie. 5/5.

 

What to look out for in 2019

2019 is going to be the year of sequels and spinoffs with the odd remake thrown in for good measure. Toy Story 4, Men in Black: International, How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Star Wars Episode IX and Hobbs and Shaw are just some of the titles of instalments in film franchises over the next 12 months. On top of that, Hellboy is getting remade, as is Dumbo and The Lion King, albeit in live action form. I will watch all of these and probably enjoy all of these, but it is just the way cinema has gone. Although there are a few other films I’ll be looking forward to see.

Us will be Jordan Peele’s second horror offering. His film Get Out was hailed as a masterpiece and rightfully so. It is a magnificent film that combines the thriller and horror genres. Jordan rose to fame with Mad TV and the Key and Peele show. The horror stuff came fairly out of left field for me but thankfully so as he’s killing it. The trailer for Us looks intense and will be a must for most cinemagoers this year.

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There is no trailer yet for The Irishman, Scorcese’s gangster epic starring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano. This film marks the 9th time Scorcese and DeNiro have worked together and the first time that Pacino and the great director have done so. It tells the story of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) and his bodyguard ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran (DeNiro), and the latter’s involvement in the gangster’s assassination. I can’t wait to see it, as Netlfix reportedly bought the rights for $105 million, and the budget has risen to $175 million. It’ll be epic, and hopefully it gets released in cinemas too, as that would be worth the whole year.

I know I was harping on earlier about sequels and spinoffs and yes, this film is a sequel and also a collaborative film between several different stand alone characters in the same universe (that sentence is confusing and should annoy anyone who reads it), BUT, and it’s a big but and it cannot lie, we have all been following this journey since Ironman (2008). We’ve gone through all the Thor movies, the Captain America movies, the Spiderman reboot III, the Avengers movies, the Guardians movies, AntMan and we’ve arrived at Avengers: Endgame. What a time to be alive! Following this I expect there will be a reboot in the casting of the titular heroes so this one will be very special.

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There’s also no trailer for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarrantino’s latest epic, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Margot Robbie also features alongside Al Pacino and a host of other stars. I’m not entirely sure what the plot of this movie is but if it has Pitt, DiCaprio and Robbie in it then I don’t care.

Finally, Glass, the third instalment in this sort of anti-superhero trilogy, looks very good. Jackson and Willis reprise their original roles of Mr. Glass and Mr. Unbreakable, respectively, while the supremely talented McAvoy returns as the Beast. Or Patricia. Depends on his mood.The trailer looks class without giving too much away, and it also has Sarah Paulson and I’m in love with her so it’s already great!

Apologies for the lengthy post but hopefully you’ll see some of these movies also in 2019. I also am looking forward to Captain Marvel because I love Brie Larson too but Sarah Paulson’s OK with it so we’re all good.

Angela’s Christmas

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This 30-minute wonder of a film is on U.S. Netflix and is perfect for small kids, parents (the 1st time), and people who work the night shift. Now, if you’re not a kid, not my cousin Bridget who has been forced to watch it hundreds of times by her two-year old, or me on the nightshift, maybe you won’t want to give it a chance. But I promise you, it is only half an hour and a nice story with only a small dash of sadness and death. Just like any other Irish film!

Angela’s Christmas, based on the novel ‘Angela and the Baby Jesus’, by Frank McCourt, is a beautiful little tale about Angela, of course, and the adventure she gets up to on Christmas Eve night.
Angela, her two brothers, younger sister and mother are heading to Christmas Eve mass, and Angela is holding them up while getting ready. Her older brother Patrick is complaining about her and incessantly whinging. Straight away, we see that Patrick is suffering from middle-child syndrome and just unlikeable. Ugh, I wanted to punch the screen. Feck off Patrick, the movie’s called Angela’s Christmas, not Patrick’s Day.
On the way to the church Patrick and Angela bicker back and forth, with Patrick maintaining his annoying personality. After finally sitting down, Angela realises that the baby Jesus in the manger does not have a blanket or a jacket on. Being five, she doesn’t realise that he is a statue and he therefore cannot feel the cold. She formulates a plan, and when her family leave mass to return home, she steals the baby Jesus so she can keep him warm.
On her own way home, Angela bumps into a blind, one-legged beggar, a kind policeman and a bar full of elderly drunks. Once in the door, she tucks the baba into bed and sings ‘Angela’s Song’, a lovely little lullaby. Unfortunately, Patrick the prized pr*ck rats her out, and she fears she may be in trouble. Thankfully, her mother, instead of getting annoyed and punishing Angela, tells the story of Angela’s birth, and how important it is to be together as a family at Christmas. Angela, apparently being able to understand subtext at 5 years old, knows she must bring the baby Jesus back to the manger.

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The whole family set off to return the statue, the world not seeming so scary for Angela on her own anymore. Despite returning 8 pound 6 oz, newborn infant Jesus, don’t even know a word yet, but still omnipotent, baby Jesus, the family are caught by the priest. He calls a guard over to throw the thief in jail but, lo and behold, it is the same guard from earlier! He shows more kindness and lets them free to be together on Christmas Eve.

A truly heartwarming tale, I was shocked to find out that some people wrote to me and said that there is a popular fan theory that Angela, in her quest to first steal the baby Jesus, hits her head on her fall from the pew. The rest of the movie is actually in Angela’s head as she survives in the hospital. I would just like to say that that is not true and those people should never, ever contact me again. Freaks. No better than Patrick in the movie. Although he had a sweet redemption arc.
Dolores O’Riordan sings Angela’s Song during the credits and it is worth it for that alone, seeing as it is almost a year since she sadly died.

Catch this flick on Netflix or get it on cheap blu-ray at the flea markets in Chelsea.

5 absolute bangers you may have forgotten about

Bit of absolute shite pandering ‘journalism’ today! I was carrying out my morning ritual (coffee, cry, poo) and opened YouTube to see Clean Bandit had a new video out for a new song. They are always a good shout for a catchy tune and they always get someone well known or currently trending to sing their tunes. This time, her name was Marina. It struck a memory chord in my head as I reached back to my teenage years to try and place her. The name was so familiar. After much toing and froing I remembered an artist that had a hit or two a while back and then almost disappeared from the mainstream media, or at least my timelines. I’m sure that many people still listened and watched out for new songs. I, however, consigned her to the recent history books. I’m here to refresh your memories with 5 bangers that you might have forgotten about, starting with Marina and the Diamonds.

Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna
This song is only six years old. What the fuck? I definitely thought that it was at least ten years old. Although, now I think about it, I definitely remember psyching myself up the few months in school before the dreaded Leaving Cert by blasting this full volume in the morning. I gave the bathroom mirror some stellar renditions of “Primadonna Girl” that summer. While the lyrics themselves are completely foreign to me and the song is definitely aimed at the opposite gender, for those four minutes, I really am a Primadonna Girl. And you better believe I gave the bathroom mirror in my current house the same show. Absolute TUNE!


She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd
I can’t remember the first time I heard this song. I don’t even know if I’ve listened to it more than a handful of times. All I know is that it is a certified banger and any time I hear it I wish I could grow long hair and mosh out. If I grew my hair out I’d look like a young Krusty the Klown, which is ironically my street name in the Bronx.

C’est La Vie – B*Witched
Ah, no one could forget this but it’s an absolute banger and I hadn’t seen the video in ages. Calling this a work of art would be underselling this piece of film. Just look at the matching jean jackets and denim jeans! It is quite possibly the most ’90s thing I’ve ever seen and I also didn’t realize how sexually suggestive some of the lyrics were. God, I love being Irish. Definitely throwing this on the jukebox next time I’m in the Avenue for Thursday Night Football hahaha.

Breathe – Blu Cantrell ft. Sean Paul
I got an iPod nano for Christmas one year off Santa and went out the next week to get some new, hip music. I, a pasty, ginger, freckled twelve year old, walked into Xtra Vision and walked out with the R n’ B Yearbook, 2006. I was a child who knew no bounds when it came to culture and just lived for music. Just kidding, I had no clue what was on the album but thankfully it introduced me to Sean Paul and his wonderful habit of shouting his name every twenty seconds. This song is an absolute CHOON and is the reason why I have a best selling album in Latin America today.

Tragedy – Steps
Ah, this list could have been a compilation of Irish and British girlbands, boybands, mixed bands and so on and so forth. Sugababes almost made it in with Push the Button, and Girls Aloud were close enough too. Just a few decades worth of songs you want to throw on at 2:30 in the morning, absolutely off your face on whiskey-gingers, quickly throwing away your freshly lit cigarette as you hear the opening notes to Keep On Movin’ by Five blast from the DJ’s speakers.
Tragedy made it in because the video is hilarious, you would definitely sing along if it came on the radio and I hope that for humanity’s sake, we forget about it as soon as this post is a week old. Enjoy.

I’ve actually laughed so much writing this. Video after video of pure cheese has just been watched on my laptop. I couldn’t be happier. These bangers just put me in a fantastic mood. To be fair, as much as I might mock them in this post, every person in the videos looked like they were having great craic. Except for Puddle of Mudd. They were thick some girl wasn’t giving them the ride.
Honorable mentions go to Halo, by Beyonce. Everyone should remember every single song of Bey’s, but that one is my personal favourite. Promiscuous by Nellie Furtado and Timbaland was also almost there. Probably more of a banger than Tragedy but this is my blog, and that’s all that matters. Funny anecdote actually, I was in Tijuana, promoting my album and I bumped into Nelly Furtado. She congratulated me on my wonderful blend of Irish folk and Latin energy. I asked her what she was doing in Mexico. She told me she didn’t know where her soul was, or her home. It was a weird interaction but one that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

Bohemian Rhapsody: The Show Will Go On

The long awaited Freddy Mercury bipoic opened on Thursday evening in North America to rave reviews. It raced to the top of the weekend’s box office with a projected $35-40 million return. It has beaten out all the other openers this weekend and rightly so. I went to see it in the middle of a split double shift, meaning eight hours on, eight hours off and eight hours on again. I didn’t expect to stay awake throught the whole thing after only a few hours kip but I was rapt with attention throughout.
The film throws up few surprises if any. I saw a few people write that it was predictable and formulaic. I mean, obviously. It’s a biopic of the most popular and most documented frontman in the world. Before the time of smartphones recording our every move, Mercury was in the limelight all the time. Add to the mix that he was a gay man in the ’80s, I think its fair to say that a lot of what he did musically and personally is already well known. Despite this lack of surprise, the movie keeps the viewers attention through witty interactions between the band, tense moments towards the end of the movie and of course, an astounding soundtrack. It helps that the soudtrack is all the band’s catalogue. That band being Queen, in case anyone didn’t know.

Rami Malek is Freddy Mercury. I don’t mean that he is the actor playing the icon, I mean that in this film he IS Freddy Mercury. He inhabits the character and sometimes you almost forget that it isn’t Mercury playing himself with actors surrounding him. That said, Gwilyn Lee as Brian May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joseph Mazzelo as John Deacon are all fantastic. Aiden Gillen, Allen Leech and Aaron McCusker are three major Irish talents who star in the movie. Gillen has the same raspy voice as every other character he plays, being John Reid, Queen manager, in this film. Leech, of Downton Abbey fame, plays Paul Prenter, a long-lurking snake in the grass. McCusker plays Mercury’s final love, Jim Hutton. All three put in sound performances with Leech excelling as the slimy Prenter who is intent on playing Freddy against his family, the band.

I listen to Joe.ie and their film review podcast which is very good. They thought that the film was bad and cheesy and only people who didn’t know the full history of queen would enjoy the film as a whole, and not just Malek’s performance. Even though I can see where they are coming from I have to disagree. The film might be a bit jumpy and the early parts of the film seem a bit cheesy but as a whole, the film is very good.

The film comes to an end after the epic 20-minute finale, an almost identical replica of the Live Aid set that Queen performed. Instead of depicting his final years in which he was ravaged by AIDS, some screen caps explain that he died in 1991 and that a charity was set up in his honor to help AIDS victims worldwide. This is extremely fitting as a half an hour before, Mercury, after telling his band and friends that he has the dreaded disease, says, “I will not be their poster boy, their cautionary tale…”. Instead of showing him at his weakest, we see him go out on that incredible high of performing to billions of people all around the world and holding them in a trance like only Freddy Mercury could.

On a related note, are films coming out earlier in Ireland than America? Thought it would be the other way around. On another related note, I’ve been blasting Queen all day and night after watching the film. Shout out to my music teacher Ms. Lucey for introducing us to A Night at the Opera. On an unrelated note, I’m absolutely wrecked and want to sleep for a thousand years.

The Bodyguard – Review

The long awaited sequel to the 1992 smash hit starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner has finally come to Netflix. Kevin Costner reprises his role as the bodyguard as he goes on the rampage against street drugs. Cillian Murphy takes on the role of Bobby Brown in a highly controversial piece of casting, while modern technology continues to wow us as Whitney herself is brought back to life through holograms and CGI. Disclaimer: none of that is true and I apologoise to any Whitney fans who take offense.

Bodyguard aired originally on BBC One earlier this year to rave reviews. Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame is PS David Budd, an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD who foils a suicide bomb attack on board a London-bound train. He is promoted to be a Personal Protection Officer for Julia Montague, Home Secretary and a politician who promotes the very war that ailed his mental health. She is attempting to introduce a new bill that allows the British armies to go on the offensive against countries deemed a threat of terrorism. Or something like that. I don’t pay attention to all the intricate bills and laws in tv shows. My minds on other things, like food and football.

There is an uproar in the public due to this forthcoming bill and as a result, several attempts are made on the Home Secretary’s life. Buds foils a few of these, drawing him closer to Montague and adding a romantic, dangerous element to their professional relationship. However, not is all as it seems. Montague seems to be involved in several dodgy dealings, some including her bodyguard, while Budd himself seems to be tied to these assassination attempts. Every character is in danger and most characters are suspects.

I won’t give away any major plot points. I do highly recommend the show. It is only six episodes long at around an hour apiece, with the final episode running at an hour and fifteen. From the very first scene the tension is palpable and it doesn’t really let up at all. After Budd and Montague become involved in the second episode we see the extent of the main characters acting abilities. Madden is exceptional throughout as the suffering veteran who struggles to decide whether he can stick to his job of protecting the secretary or if he should care what happens to her at all. Montague is played by Keeley Hawes. She is probably best known for her role on Ashes to Ashes, but she is fantastic here. At times charming and warm and at other times cold and calculated, she is always brilliant, even when she struggles to cope with a fresh attempt on her life.Sophie Rundle, of Peaky Blinders game, plays Budd’s estranged wife Vicky, and although she doesn’t get a hell of a lot of screen time she does well as the confused but heroic love interest.

My only problem with the show is the ending. Amidst all the twists and turns the writers seem to have gone with a bit of a cop out. I didn’t see it coming but I wasn’t impressed. I still thought the show was amazing but the final reveal is a let down. Be warned but have a watch anyways. It is on American Netflix!

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 3

The one constant thing in a night shift doorman’s daytime is the easy access to programs on every streaming device, as well as movies, podcasts and articles. The odd sleep schedule that accompanies the job is a tad annoying. The reduced time you get to spend with friends is another grievance but once you are engrossed in a new show you stop feeling sorry for yourself and continue to vegetate. Episode after episode is consumed. Season after season is watched through increasingly aching eyes. You should really take a break, or at least use your phone for something more productive, but that’s too much effort. The only time legs are used are to swing your arse from the couch to the other part of the couch so your back doesn’t hurt anymore. Enough about my Tuesdays!
This week, I started going to the gym again. All summer long I used the excuse of the GAA season to not stay active. I played a handful of games and skipped the rest for work. So I decided that enough was enough and that I would eat healthier and cut out the eating out. The drawback to this increase in activity is the lack of time for binge-watching T.V. shows and movies. I can’t concentrate on podcasts when I exercise so I listened to Eminem’s new album.Let me tell you, that guy is angry! I didn’t watch as much this week because of this. I also didn’t read as much because I left my bag with all the books I’m currently reading in a friend’s house after an almighty session. I did use my night shifts to binge a few things instead of working. So let’s have a look.

Bojack Horseman (Season 5)

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I couldn’t remember much of the specifics of the first four seasons of Bojack because I binged them all separately and never together. I loved the show before and remembered the basics; Bojack is an asshole who sometimes redeems himself but always manages to ruin his life and other people’s lives; Diane is the book smart friend who may or may not have feelings for Bojack while being with someone else; Todd is the zany, typical comic relief who slowly develops into a rounded character; Princess Carolyn is the unlucky in love agent turned manager who can’t have kids while always batting for Bojack. I was not prepared for how much of their awful, sad lives that I couldn’t remember would come flooding back as I watched.
It is a truly fantastic show that is tough to watch because each episode packs a lot of jokes and comedy around a seismic gut-punch of emotional growth or regression in a character. The fourth season especially dives into Bojack’s childhood and his mother’s reasons for being cold and unloving. It was tough to binge that season because, while the episodes were marvellous and some are ranked in the top echelons of IMDbs top rated episodes, each one left me feeling emotionally drained.
Season 5 is no different. I’ll have to watch it through again to fully appreciate the season. The writers pull no punches, really plumming the depths to which we, the viewer, are willing to go to keep rooting for Bojack. He is plagued by demons even more so in this fifth outing and his past indiscretions are coming back to the surface.
Princess Carolyn spends the season putting out more fires and trying to adopt a baby. Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter have split up and are trying to wade through life without each other. Todd, now crashing on Princess Carolyn’s couch, finds himself in another wacky adventure as one of the top dogs at a website that tells people the time. This show is just fantastic.
Special mention goes to Episode 6, “Free Churro”. The entire twenty-five minutes is just Bojack delivering a heart-wrenching eulogy at his mother’s funeral. Television gold.

Crazy Rich Asians

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I do love a good rom-com. I enjoy the comedy, the always over the top endings and the soundtracks. Movies like About Time, Me Before You and Love, Rosie are some of my favourite movies of all time. They have interesting plots and are just the right amount of corny and cringy. That’s why I was surprised that I didn’t like this movie. The cast are all generically handsome or beautiful; there were sad English songs sang in Mandarin/Chinese; one of the climactic scenes was so over the top it as surreal. Despite all that, it just wasn’t good. The dialogue was clunky, the plot kind of raced along without a whole heap of context and the conflict between the two leads seemed forced. That being said, the aforementioned over the top scene was absolutely fantastic.
Funnily enough, I used to watch Glee, up until the fourth season when the show about an unbelievably diverse group of teenagers running around and singing and dancing in public became unbelievable. Harry Shum grew into one of the main characters. I had seen he was going to be in this movie and he was promoting it pretty heavily online. The prick wasn’t in the actual movie, only a mid-credits scene that apparently sets up two sequels. I was fully sure I just hadn’t seen him on screen.*
So, anyways, the movie is not bad but it is not a great rom-com. I do think it is important for movies of other cultures to be seen in the Western World and I am probably in love with Gemma Chan so that was a plus. But I wouldn’t pay $14 again to just enjoy a wedding scene.
*Disclaimer: I was high as a kite watching this movie so it very well could be an absolute masterpiece hahahahaha

Following up on last week, I didn’t finish Jack Ryan. It just got too much for me. They kept going on about a second 9/11 and I thought there would be more of John Krasinsky and less troubled military guys. I’ll try and finish it this week. We’ll see. I might let ye know. Happy watching!

The Doorman’s Daytime – Week 2

The Emmys took place this past Monday and it seems that streaming services have definitely taken the crown for television viewing. Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO swept the awards, the only awards for actual network television coming from late night talk shows and reality TV. Although SNL got a few awards which I am happy about.
There can be no real argument against this rise of streaming. Fantastic shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (haven’t watched it), Barry (haven’t watched it) and Godless (didn’t finish it) garnered multiple awards through their acting talent. In fact, if you look through the list of winners from the night you will see that most shows, nominees and winners are an “Original” from a webite or streaming service. Actors are getting drawn to the quality projects that sites such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime produce. They’re probably getting compensated pretty well for it at the same time.
The irony of it all is that broadcast television just aired their biggest loss of the war yet. Despite shows such as Game of Thrones, Westworld and Succession garnering viewers in real time as the show is first aired, a la broadcast television, the majority of users view the shows on demand. There are even plenty of Irish shows on these sites also. I’ll review these next week.
Anyways, after that diatribe, let me tell ye what I’ve been watching this week. Yes, they were all through streaming services.

The Good Place

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This comedy offering had been sitting in my Netflix list for months. I didn’t see the appeal based on the twenty seconds I watched of the trailer. Nothing was tickling my fancy one day so I threw it on and binged the two seasons in two days. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Created by Michael Schur, who wrote episodes of the Office, Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, it blends drama, philosophical questions, mad fantasy and superb comedy into one unreal show.
It stars Kristin Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who wakes up in ‘the good place’, ie ‘Heaven”. The only thing is, she has been mixed up with another woman of the same name who was of much purer character. Hilarity ensues. The show stars Ted Danson as an ‘architect’, or angel, and he is definitely the funniest character in the show.
The rest of the cast are impeccable. Adam Scott, Dax Shepard and Maya Rudolph appear in guest roles throughout the series. Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper and D’Arcy Carden make up the rest of the main cast and while you may have not heard of most of them, they are all hilarious and perfect for their roles.
I would recommend watching this as soon as possible because season 3 premieres on Netflix the 27th of this month. Get to watchin’ and don’t be chillin’ while doin’ it ya sick pervs.

Jack Ryan

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Amazon Prime has been advertising the hell out of this eight part thriller based on Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name. It seems to have made its mark with over 140 countries around the world streaming the show. The show focuses on CIA analyst Jack Ryan who is drawn into the world of active anti-terrorism, showing he is much more than a desk-jockey.
John Krasinsky plays the titular character. He directed and starred in the horror hit of the year, A Quiet Place, but is better known by millions around the world for his role as Jim in the American Office.
The show itself is action packed with many twists and turns, but that is to be expected. It’s not as action packed as I’d like, however. The dialogue that takes place whenever the terrorist leader Suliman is on screen is brilliant and the tension is palpable. Krasinsky doesn’t feature half as much as we were led to believe in the trailers, a lot of screen time being given to the villain’s story.
This show is bound to draw criticism for apparent Islamophobia and inciting hatred given the subject matter. I would disagree, given that it paints the Americans and Europeans in just as bad a light. The world can no longer be painted in black or white as everybody’s motives are drawn into question.
Jack Ryan is worth a watch but I wouldn’t go subscribing to Amazon Prime just because of the show.

White Boy Rick

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White Boy Rick tells the story of Rick Wershey Jr., a teenage drug kingpin in Detroit in the mid 1980s. The film charts his rise from a gang associate to drug lord between the ages of 14 to 17, as well as the FBI coaching him on how to drugdeal and snitch while paying him. The film depicts the hard and cold nature of Detroit in that decade, especially for Rick, who must deal with his runaway drug addict sister, his father who wastes his time selling guns and thinking of his video-store business, the FBI who keep hounding him to sell drugs and obtain information for them and an increasingly suspicious gang leader who may have it in for our titular character.
Hollywood heavyweights Matthew McConnaughey, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh lend the star power to this one but Richie Merritt, who plays Rick, is a future star and is definitely a new force to be reckoned with.
It is a very good movie that could have used a bit more action in the final third, but well worth the money for a watch.