Tag Archive | Perception

23 result(s)

2 3 4 5 6 7 8  

What have you been watching? Including Legends, Dim Ond y Gwir, Arrow, 800 Words and Limitless

Posted on November 6, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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.

Brace yourself - a new wave of TV shows is about to hit us, because we're about to hit the mid, mid US season, and Amazon and Netflix are busy hitting us with new pilots and new shows even as I type. So consider this a lull. 

Elsewhere this week, I've reviewed the first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead (US: Starz) and passed a third-episode verdict on The Beautiful Lie (Australia: ABC), which means that after the jump, I'm going to be talking about the season finale of Arrow, Blindspot, Doctor Who, The Flash, Grandfathered, The Last Kingdom, Limitless, The Player, Supergirl and You're The Worst, as well as the season finales of 800 Words and Y Gwyll. I also final caught up with the final few episodes of Strike Back

But that's not all I watched this week. I've also watched two new shows: Dim Ond Y Gwir and Legends. What do you mean Legends isn't new? Well, that's strangely debatable…

Dim Ond Y Gwir (UK: S4C - available on iPlayer)
Flush with the success of detective show Y Gwyll/Hinterland, S4C has decided to branch out into another genre: the courtdroom drama. Dim Ond Y Gwir (Only the Truth) is a half-hour weekly affair that follows 'law court workers as they go about their daily lives'. In the first episode, this amounts to watching various ancillary workers man the metal detectors, while someone in the cafe bakes a cake. Meanwhile, up in the courts themselves, we have barrister Rebecca Trehearn dealing with one case when it turns out that the opposite barrister is her ex-boyfriend! Oh noes.

Filmed in Caernarfon where it's actually not that uncommon for cases to be heard in Welsh, this is a pretty poor affair, with the supposed sexy ex more the kind of guy who sidles up to women when they're drunk in bars, almost no legal accuracy in the proceedings whatsoever, and the case hinging on whether Trehearn will bother defending her client if she thinks he's guilty or not (big reveal at the end that has no legal bearing!). The acting is also pretty dreadful, too, and the budget's probably about £3.50. Sorry, S4C - this one ain't going to go global.

Legends (US: TNT; UK: Sky1)
So, as we all remember, but are possibly wondering if we imagined it all, Legends was a very sub-par piece of US TV in which Sean Bean was the US's best undercover FBI agent, a human chameleon able to become whomever he wanted while his NCIS-style buddies back at home base helped him to overcome computer problems and the like, as he assumed a new identity every week. Unfortunately, Bean's personality might itself be a 'legend' and he's forgotten who he really is. Oh noes.

The big reveal at the end of the first season (look away for year-old spoilers) is that yes, Bean was really MI6 and that he'd lost his memory in an accident. The big problem is that he's then framed for murdering a top FBI director. Oops. 

'TNT - Bang'? Not really.

But in between seasons, the show changed showrunner and new boy Ken Biller (Perception) decided not just to change direction but perform a 'hard reset' of the entire show. Severely hard. Out of the show are everyone except Bean and Rosewood's Morris Chestnut (for a few episodes at least) - even Ali Larter, those cads. The entire show has also moved to Europe and now covers several timelines - Bean's upbringing at a rather nasty Northern public school in the 70s, undercover work in Prague in 2001 and two modern day storylines involving Bean's attempts to rediscover his old life in London and a new FBI agent's attempts to find him through the Prague connection. 

And it's just the weirdest thing. An almost entirely new show that feels like a British spy show, feels even like it's been written by a Brit (bar the swearing), but shot US-style. It's basically Homeland meets The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. I'm still reeling from the changes, they're so profound. It's now a really good spy show, although the plot about the radicalisation of young London Muslims is a bit trite, and Bean's character seems to have forgotten the whole 'best undercover agent ever' thing, judging by how much he's cocking up. 

All the same, despite the absence of our Ali (sob), even if you gave up on Legends the first time, give it a go this time round, since you might as well be watching a new show.

Movies
Would you believe it, I actually had some time to watch a couple of oldish movies, too.

Sherlock Holmes and The Secret Code (aka Dressed to Kill) (1946) (Amazon Instant Video)
One of the great things about growing up in the 80s was that BBC Two regularly used to show all the old Basil Rathbone movies at 6pm of an evening. Which was great. Seeing as Amazon Instant Video has quite a few of them to view for free, I thought I'd give Dressed To Kill a go. It's basically Conan's Doyle The Six Napoleons/Blue Carbuncle but with a set of music boxes that a set of villains are trying to get for some nefarious reason. The chief villain is basically Irene Adler except not: an actress who outwits Holmes and Watson, even reading A Scandal in Bohemia and his monograph on cigarette ash to find out Holmes' methods of operation and turning them against him.

There's not much detection, most of it being Rathbone just making lucky guesses, but it's fun and a lot smarter than you'd have thought for something pretty much cranked out post-War in a job lot.

Pacific Rim (2013) (Amazon Instant Video)
One of those movies where you look at who the writer/director is and go, "Really? I mean really?" Basically, Transformers meets the Godzilla movies but with the monster and biological horror that we do actually all associate with Guillermo Del Toro, it sees a bunch of giant monsters emerging from the sea to destroy the world's cities, but the world at a loss to respond until they think of sticking people in giant robots to punch them to death.

There's far more action than there was in the most recent Godzilla, it's got some interesting ideas and it's got Idris Elba as the leader of the plucky robot pilots, but it's very silly and to be honest, I'd rather have watched old episodes of Star Fleet instead, as they have more charm.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Legends, Dim Ond y Gwir, Arrow, 800 Words and Limitless"

Read other posts about: , , , , , , ,

What have you been watching? Including Community, 19-2, Arrow, Hannibal and The Doctor Blake Mysteries

Posted on March 6, 2014 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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.

Typical, isn’t it? No sooner have I just about caught about with my previous backlog of viewing then I have to head off again, so I’m predicting a whole new backlog next week. Ho hum.

But after the jump, reviews of Almost Human, Enlisted, Helix, 19-2, The Americans, Arrow, Banshee, The Blacklist, Community, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Hannibal, The Life of Rock with Brian Pern, Moone Boy, Perception and True Detective.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Community, 19-2, Arrow, Hannibal and The Doctor Blake Mysteries"

Read other posts about: , , , , , , ,

What did you watch this month? Including Homeland, Low Winter Sun, Chickens, Strike Back and Elysium

Posted on September 5, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch this weekmonth?, my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I've watched last month while I was away on holiday that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

First up, 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.

In my preview queue is a couple of shows, including ABC's Trophy Wife, which I hope to review for you properly on Tuesday. But I have tried a couple of new things, despite the summer TV quiet.

New shows I tried this week
Chickens
(Sky 1 HD)
Some of the cast of The InBetweeners try to write a First World War comedy about a bunch of guys left behind during the Great War, who have to deal with being accused of cowardice, etc.

Anyway, it's 10 minutes of my life I'm not getting back.

Low Winter Sun (AMC/FOX)
A remake of the Channel 4 mini-series of the same name set in Edinburgh, the show had relocated to Detroit to retell us the tale of a good cop who commits a revenge murder with the help of another cop and thinks he's got away with it. Except things start to unravel.

It sounds good and given it's remarkably managed to get the star of the original – Mark Strong – to repeat his performance but with a US accent, with fellow stalwart Brit Lennie James joining him for the ride, you'd think it would be good. But effectively, it's a season-long episode of Columbo with the guy who played Daniel Hardman on Suits as a less well written Columbo. I stuck it out for four episodes before the plot got so thin that I decided not to bother with it any more.

Shows I'm watching but not necessarily recommending
Under The Dome (CBS/Channel 5)
Just rubbish. I'm only watching because I've got this far and there's nothing else on.

Under the Dome TV Schedule

The Bridge (US) (FX)
We're nearing the end and it's definitive now that it's simply not as good as the original, despite sticking more or less to exactly the same storyline. Problematically, the show has removed a lot of the strengths from the Saga Norin/Sonja Cross character and pushed them onto the male characters, making her more of a liability and one who's stuck in the office most of the time. But the show did drop one particular, ridiculous twist, which I'm thankful for, anyway. The Annabeth Gish storyline is looking more and more pointless, though.

Strike Back (Cinemax/Sky 1)
The return of the modern day Professionals, this time with the assistance of former SAS dynamo… Robson Green (who, of course, was in Soldier Soldier but never did much fighting). Strong female characters keep cropping up to get shot and killed or go mental, which isn't very helpful, and having Brits like Martin Clunes turn up is very distracting. But the action sequences are as impressive as ever, as is the camaraderie and the cross-Atlantic strafing.

Recommended shows
The Almighty Johnsons
(TV3/SyFy UK/Space)
Really pushing ahead very strongly now, and getting some of its darker edges back, without going to season 2 extremes. Lovely use of myth, as well.

The Almighty Johnsons TV Schedule

Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
A much better second half than first half to the season, with all the budget saved up for the end this time. Some good twists and revelations, as well. But it's in extreme danger of disappearing ourobouros style up in its own arse with the rapid development of unnecessary mythology.

Continuum TV Schedule

Homeland (Showtime/Channel 4)
Not yet back, of course, but I've had a gander at the first episode of the third season and I'm glad to report that it's remembered it's an adult show, rather than simply 24 on cable TV. Carrie's still unbalanced and there's no sign of you-know-who yet, with most of the first episode looking at the fallout from the bombing at the end of the last season and the political ramifications and changes in the US that have resulted. Impressive, but Brodie's family is really starting to irritate now.

The Newsroom (HBO/Sky Atlantic)
Better than the first season and the season arc is a lot stronger and more interesting, as well. Sorkin and co have also gone to quite extreme lengths to ditch virtually every romantic storyline possible along the way. But it's now so plot-focused, it's lost all sense of character, making it less engaging. Plus Olivia Munn is being criminally under-used and where they are using her, it's entirely inappropriately. Only one appearance by Jane Fonda this entire season, too.

The Newsroom TV Schedule

Perception (TNT/Watch)
Overall, a disappointingly formulaic season that ended on a low and lost the show a lot of its unique characteristics along the way.

Perception TV Schedule

Satisfaction (CTV)
Still funny, but I'm giving up on it because, like many, I want to punch most of the cast, now.

Satisfaction TV Schedule

Suits (USA/Dave)
Same problems as The Newsroom – strong plot, less involved in the characters. The fact the show has focused on more or less a single case the entire season has also robbed it of a lot of variety. And no matter what, I still can't see Max Beesley as a Cambridge lawyer. Sorry.

Suits TV Schedule

And in movies

I Give It A Year
Another tedious attempt to capture the magic that was Four Weddings and a Funeral in another Brit rom-com, this time with Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne getting married against everyone's recommendations. Nine months later, they're having problems. Generally, despite the presence of Stephen Merchant, Minnie Driver, Anna Faris, Olivia Colman and Simon Baker, a pretty miserable movie, bereft of laughter but full of misery. So steer clear of it – all the good jokes are in the trailer.

Elysium
Neill Blomkamp tries to repeat the success of District 9 but with a much bigger budget. Set in 2154, it sees Matt Damon as a blue collar worker trapped on the over-crowded earth with all the rest of the poor, while the rich all life on a space-station called Elysium that fixes all their problems and even cures all their diseases – except the rich don't care enough to offer the same facilities to the poor. Now, in many ways it's a very clever film with lots to say. The imagination that's gone into the weaponry, set design and future tech are all superb. It's just the plot and the characterisation that are mundane, with Damon having less personality than an implanted Total Recall Arnie and everyone else painted so thinly, they'd disappear if they turned sideways. It actually makes for quite a boring movie and yet again, despite it being 2154, you'd be hard-pushed to spot even 25% of the main characters being female, let alone women with power (baddie Jodie Foster and that's it). Disappointing, despite all the imagination that went into it.

"What did you watch this week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

Read other posts about: , , , , , , ,

2 3 4 5 6 7 8  

Featured Articles

Marvel's Iron Fist

Season two of Daredevil but done right