It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.
The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.
Well, you can't say I haven't been keeping you up to date on all the new shows around the world. Or at least trying to. This week I think I've hit a personal record for number of new shows either previewed or reviewed in a week, since I gave you the lowdown on the following:
- Second Chance (US: Fox)
- Colony (US: USA Network)
- Angel From Hell (US: CBS)
- Teachers (US: TV Land)
- Shades of Blue (US: NBC)
- Shadowhunters (US: Freeform; UK: Netflix)
- Billions (US: Showtime)
- Spin (Les hommes de l'ombre) (France: France 2; UK: More4)
Which ain't bad. Idiotsitter I previewed last week, so that doesn't count.
I haven't had a chance to watch last night's The Family Law (Australia: SBS) yet, but I'll get round to that over the weekend, fingers crossed, and let you know about it (and anything else that debuts or that's escaped my radar) on Monday.
After the jump, I'll be looking at the regulars, as well as those shows I thought promising enough to keep in my crowded schedule: American Crime, Byw Celwydd, Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life, Endeavour, Grandfathered, Man Seeking Woman and Rebellion. Those keeping score will notice that I couldn't be bothered with the second episodes of Shades of Blue, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands or Angel From Hell, but 100 Code will be getting a look in over the weekend, too. Probably.
But first, a movie!
The Hateful Eight (2016)
Quentin Tarantino's latest is a Western that assembles many of his usual tropes and uses them as a framework for him to mash up Reservoir Dogs, The Thing and 10 Little Indians, into a lovely morality tail about how adversity can help men overcome their racism so they can join together to be misogynistic.
Set just after the civil war, the film sees bounty hunter Kurt Russell is taking in fugitive Jennifer Jason Leigh when a blizzard forces them - and fellow bounty hunter Samuel L Jackson and local sheriff Walter Goggins - to take refuge in a shop on the side of a mountain in Wyoming. There they meet various other characters (Tim Roth, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern), one or more of whom could be secretly in league with Leigh. As the snows set in, the bodies start to pile up…
It takes a good half hour for the film to reach the shop, that half hour being so dull I actually fell asleep for 10 minutes. However, the remaining two and a half hours (including interval) are considerably better. While the film owes an epic debt to The Thing, even poaching some of that film's score, it's also its own beast. But while it doers innovate, constantly surprises, plays with audience expectations, and looks fantastic in Panavision Ultra 70mm, it never does anything quite as exciting as Tarantino's previous efforts, particularly Inglorious Bastards.
Funny, but mostly from its gross-out humour; tense, but mostly thanks to The Thing; a decent enough viewing, but mostly full of plot loopholes and missed opportunities. Nothing to go out of your way for.