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QUICK REVIEW: House of Cards Season 2

Howdy ladies and gents, time for my first TV review for a while, and after almost TWO years I’m finally talking about the second season of House of Cards. I remember liking season 1 in 2015 and I knew I’d get back to the show at some point but with all the additional TV I watched over the last two years with Buffy, The Wire, Luther, Regular Show, Better Call Saul and so on, just finding the time has become tough. But anyway I finally finished season 2 and I’m ready to talk about it.

Story-wise the show can be summed up as the following:

“A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”

So what I liked about this season was that it picked up right where the last left off and things escalated quickly. House of Cards season 2 to me was able personal struggle. What happens when one is pushed into a corner? When they have the weight of the world on their shoulders or have demons from their past that come back to get them? These questions and more were explored for many of the characters in this show including Frank and Claire Underwood, Doug, Raymond, Remy, Rachel and Garrett the President. Tensions run high, alliances are formed and broken, and lies and deceit are abound as many people deceive, cheat and use each for personal gain with very few genuine individuals who aren’t corrupt or end up as victims. Witnessing the ever-shifting nature of the political landscape was fascinating whether it was backhanded deals, certain individuals challenging the chain of command or having to deal with financial issues, all of that stuff is really insightful and engaging. Like before some of the political jargon got lost on me and so some of the finer details did escape me, and some episodes weren’t as engaging as others, but when this show got going good gravy it had a lot of great surprises and shocking moments that increased my love for this world that is so cold, complicated, lonely and corrupt.

The cast were all very good. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood was fantastic, I know he’s a manipulative, calculated and dangerous individual but good god do I love him. His ambition, cunning and swagger made him so magnetic to watch, he stole every scene he was in and it also helped that he broke the fourth wall every so often with dialogue which was so cool and quotable. Robin Wright was even more impressive than last season as Claire Underwood, not only was she loyal to Frank but also had her own material to deal with which was very complicated and emotionally painful, we also got to see just how much of a force of nature she could be when attacked or how she could be as corrupt as Frank. Both Frank and Claire were tested this season, having to deal with person demons and not being able to fight back on their terms. Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper was awesome, his character is very reserved, calm and yet has personal flaws which made him very compelling to watch, and I really enjoyed seeing his relationship with Frank and Rachel. Mahershala Ali was really good as Remy Danton, he’s a guy with morals and ethics, however, he was also very crafty, illusive and a bit of a troublemaker for the Underwoods.

I also enjoyed Molly Parker as Jacqueline “Jackie” Sharp, she brought an interesting new voice to the table because of her history, her interactions with the Underwoods and her ties to Remy as well. Rachel Brosnahan was really good as Rachel Posner she had a fairly complicated and emotional time this season when it came to her living situation, Doug and some of the other people she interacted with. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes was once again pretty good too, Sakina Jaffrey had some good moments as Linda Vasquez, Constance Zimmer was really impressive as Janine Skorsky because of some of the dramatic material she brought to the table, Michel Gill definitely became a lot more interesting at the forefront of the main plotlines as President Garrett Walker, while he was the least interesting character in this show, he was certainly at his most engaging in this season. and Reg E. Cathey was great as Freddy Hayes as his character had a lot more pivotal moments to shine, beyond his interactions with Frank, there was some specific spotlight put on him that fleshed out his character in a great way. When it comes to the presentation it’s still on point. Visually the show’s shot well, has good lighting and nicely framed shots too. The soundtrack by Jeff Bell continues to be one of the shows highlights with a fantastic sound that is eery, melancholic, haunting and uncomfortable.

In conclusion season 2 of House of Cards was a very enjoyable session for me, this second session painted a detailed picture about the highs and lows of politics, the complexity of personal and professional relationships and the pressures/difficulties that come with the road to power. For the most part I was captivated with this show and I will check out the next season very soon.

So have you seen the second season of House of Cards and if so what do you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Focus

Howdy people of the internet, after a bit of a gap away from the cinema I’m back to do my review for Focus. This review will be another one of my simple reviews where I try to sum up my thoughts on the film a concise manner. Now I have eagerly been anticipating this film for a while now mainly because it is Will Smith’s first film for a while and I hoped it would be good. So is it? Well read on and find out.

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So the story goes like this:

“Nicky Spurgeon is an extremely accomplished con man who takes an amateur con artist, Jess, under his wing. Nicky and Jess become romantically involved, and with Nicky’s profession of being a liar and a cheater for a living, he realizes that deception and love are things that don’t go together. They split, only to see each other three years later… And things get messy.”

I thought the story in this film was smart and well-executed. This film is part drama, part romance, part comedy and it does a balancing act between all of these genres. What I liked most about this film is the sense of style, the logic that comes with stealing and being a con people in general and its themes of trust and deception, mixing business with pleasure and never losing sight of your main goal. My only nitpicks are: 1) The film doesn’t really give you a specific indication of time that Nicky and Jess spent together so it is hard to buy the ‘love factor’ of their relationship. 2) One thing that the film does well is that it keeps you guessing and has a few twists and turns, it is great, but one does wonder if some of the bluffs were necessary.

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As for the cast they were all pretty good. So let’s start with Will Smith as Nicky Spurgeon. Smith is a very charismatic man and he’s always been a leading actor in most of his films, but here he is a little more subtle, he’s still a wonderful actor with charm and emotion, but he doesn’t overpower his other colleagues. I liked Smith in this film, his character while engaging and fun, was problematic, dubious and the least heroic person he’s played. Margot Robbie as Jess Barrett was also very good. Robbie came across as an actress who has been on the big screen for a while as she handled her role with style, charm and dramatic flair. Together Smith and Robbie has really good chemistry and you could really buy their attraction and relationship. Rodrigo Santoro did a goof job as Garriga and Gerald McRaney was pretty stern and funny as Owens. I really enjoyed BD Wong as Liyuan, this guy’s part was one of the best parts of the films. And it was great to see again Brennan Brown as he did a good job as Horst while Adrian Martinez provides many moments of humour as Farhad.

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In conclusion Focus is a good film, it has solid story with some surprises, humour and great lead performances from Smith and Robbie. While the film is not perfect and has a few issues, they are nitpicky at best and as a Will Smith comeback film it is a good return to form. I would recommend this film as it smart, heartfelt and kind funny.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen Focus and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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