RSS

Tag Archives: Robin Wright

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! 😀

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

EPIC REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So today is a special day as I finally get to talk about Wonder Woman, the latest film from Warner Bros. and DC Films and is the fourth film in the DC Expanded Universe. So after three pretty divisive films, WB and DC had a lot deliver to people who weren’t on board with the previous offerings of the DCEU, me included. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate Man of Steel, but I didn’t love it, Batman V Superman was a long-winded chore with Batman being the only thing I liked, and with Suicide Squad being a frustrating mess, my hope for the DCEU was waning. And so with Wonder Woman I wanted to love it, not only because the marketing made the film look good, but also because I wanted to see a good film in this cinematic universe. So does Wonder Woman succeed? Well read on and find out!

So the story can be described as the following:

“Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.”

I thought the story was pretty good. What I enjoyed about was Diana’s whole journey, learning about her early days and how she learnt about the world and was eager to become a warrior, and then later in her adult life discovering man, the world and the horrors of war. All of that material was handled well. I also liked how this film was able to be serious but also light-weighted and humours, there were some nice subtle yet notable moments which covered race, greek mythology, the never-ending nature of war and equality. If I had any complaints I would just say that some of the story plays out as you would expect and no there weren’t any major surprises or super stand out plot points, but that’s it. One final thing of note, I felt like this film had a lot of similarities to Captain America: The First Avenger and Winter Solider when it came to the war-like setting, certain plot points and the way the character was handled, while that’s not a knock against this film it was very surprising to see how lose some of the similarities were.

The cast was pretty good, everyone whether their roles were big or small performed well. Firstly Gal Gadot impressed me as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, while I thought Gadot was fine in BvS, she really brought her A-game with her performance in this film. Diana was smart, brave, curious, perceptive and fun and it was really interesting seeing her discover the pros and cons of existing in the world beyond her homeland and Gadot’s performance had far more range and depth than anything I’ve seen from her so far and at this point I’m happy with her incarnation of the character. I also really loved Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, he was a charming man who was not only funny but also rational, skeptical and was afraid to break the rules. Pine’s performance was so delightful and engaging and it reminded me of why I love him as an actor as he can strike that basis between being light-hearted and dramatic pretty well. Then there’s Robin Wright who was awesome as General Antiope, of all of the Amazon women she was the best, Antiope was practical, harsh yet fair and was very cool both on and off of the battlefield. Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta was fine, she had some nice moments but overall she wasn’t as compelling as her sister. Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff was good, he played his part well but was a little forgettable until the latter side of the film and the same could be said for Elena Anaya as Doctor Isabel Maru/Doctor Poison, she had some notable moments but when she wasn’t around I kind of forgot about her character. Also for those not away of David Thewlis’ role in this film let just say that enjoyed what he brought to this film, it was quite fun and surprising. And finally I have to mention Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock who played Trevor’s allies Samee, Charlie and Chief, each of them brought a level of charm, fun and weight to their characters.

When it comes to the presentation if was very good for the most part. Visually the film was very striking with good cinematography, use of vivid colours, and good visual effects. The action sequences were pretty badass with Wonder Woman and some of the other Amazonian fighters dishing out the pain in some very athletic and brutal ways, and I appreciated the creativity with the fight choreography too. If I had any complaints it would be that some of the CGI and green screen was a little off at times, and the use of slow motion got a little overdone especially during the fight scenes, I understand that slow mo is used for dramatic effect but it didn’t need to be as frequent as it was. The film score from Rupert Gregson-Williams was decent, it certainly had moments to stand out and shine especially in the moments where it used the theme from Batman V Superman, otherwise the music was fine but nothing too memorable.

In conclusion Wonder Woman was really good, while it didn’t set my world on fire, it was a solid film that exceeded my expectations in terms of the story, characters and action sequences. It is easily the best film in the DCEU so far (though not a hard task to pull off) and I would recommend it, well done DC and WB.

So have you seen Wonder Woman and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet your expectations or were you disappointed? Also where does it stand with you in terms of the previous DCEU films? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

QUICK REVIEW: Everest

Howdy people of the internet, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about Everest. This was one of the films I highlighted in my films to look out for in 2015, but at the time there was no footage on show, but after I saw the trailer last month I knew it’d be something I had to see in the cinema. So after seeing it last night I’m ready to pass judgement!

everest-poster02

The plot can be summed up as the following:

“On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.”

The story was pretty good. The film basically deals with man vs. nature, death, fighting against overwhelming odds and the power of the human spirit. I thought that the film did a great job at highlighting how difficult of an undertaking it was to scale the famous mountain and showing of Everest as a character itself, a force of nature of that could not be taken lightly. I liked how there was the inclusion of humour and banter between the characters, but I also liked how the film didn’t shy away from the darker side of thing with the elements of danger, fear and despair, and man when the shit hits the fan it hits hard. There were a lot of scenes that are hard to watch with some of these characters, and it also didn’t help that I have fear of falling off of cliffs (yeah, I’m serious), and just Gravity and All Is Lost beforehand, this film perfectly realises one of my main fears of death in a realistic and scary manner.

everest-film-9poko

The cast did a pretty good job in their roles, though some stood out more than others. Jason Clarke was really good as Rob Hall, his character his confident, heroic and has to deal with so much drama and chaos, and Clarke really sold me on his material. Josh Brolin was one of my favourites as Beck Weathers, he was a character I got attached to and Brolin did a great job with his material. Jake Gyllenhaal was awesome as Scott Fischer, I liked his charisma and energy. Also John Hawkes was really good as Doug Hansen, Michael Kelly gave strong performance as Jon Krakauer and Sam Worthington did well as Guy Cotter and this was the first film of his in a while or maybe ever where I liked his performance. I also enjoyed Emily Watson’s performance as Helen Wilton, Keira Knightley as Jan Arnold, Robin Wright as Peach, Elizabeth Debicki as Dr. Caroline Mackenzie and Naoko Mori who was just so cute and lovely as Yasuko Namba.

3051060-poster-p-1-everest-movie

When it comes to the presentation it is truly the highlight of the film. Not to detract from the characters or story, but this is the area of the film that you’ll remember the most after it ends. Visually the film is incredible, the cinematography is great offering various shots and angles of the mountains so that when these characters are climbing and moving at these high altitudes, you can see and feel it. Also the visual effects are stunning and very realistic, the depiction of the mountains are done with just the right amount of scale, detail and clarity, and when the action is going down its pretty hardcore and in 3D the experience is enhanced just that bit more with the extra depth of field too. The sound design is also good with the all of the emphasis on the wind, thunderstorms, movement through the snow or crunch of movement when freezing over being felt throughout. Also the film score by Dario Marianelli is very good giving us a strong, powerful and emotive soundtrack that hit all the right beats and there is one great moment in the film where the music just swells and gives off this incredible sense of determination and satisfaction.

In conclusion Everest is definitely more effective with the spectacle than anything else. While I did enjoy the characters and the story, there are a few familiar narrative elements that hold this film back from being more. That being said, I believe that this film should be watched just for the visual experience on the biggest screen possible.

Rating: 7.5/10

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

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

QUICK REVIEW: House of Cards Season 1

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a TV review again, YAY! Today I’ll be talking about the first season of House of Cards. I recently gave my quick thoughts in a recent blog post, but this post will be a little more expansive.

House_of_Cards_Season_1_Poster

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.”

At first things unfold in an interesting way. You’re basically being introduced to this world through Frank Underwood’s eyes, you learn about the world of politics and government, and then there’s the journalism side of things as well. And you see how these two things operate separately but also how they intersect and have positive and negative effects for the people on either side. But what you learn quickly is that this is Frank’s story, everything is about him, and even when he isn’t the primary focus, in some way things will tie back to him, and there lies the show’s biggest strength and flaw. Frank’s a character with ambition and aspirations, but in order for him to get from A to B, he has plot and plan ahead and this involves everyone around him whether they are his wife, friends, enemies, other colleagues or people he doesn’t know, as they serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. It is really smart and creative to see how these stories pan out and how the characters do things that intentionally and unintentionally relate back to Frank’s main plan. Of course there are parts of the story that don’t directly involve Frank like the smaller stories involving Claire, Zoe, Peter or Doug that have varying levels of significance. I will say Peter Russo’s arc is one of the most intriguing and dramatic and Claire’s story certainly gets more dramatic towards the latter half of the season. In terms of negatives HOS takes a little while to get into, the pace is slower than most shows I normally watch, I wasn’t completely sold on the first few episodes and a lot of the time I forgot the names of many characters and sometimes couldn’t follow certain conversations because of the political jargon. And finally certain stories set up some interesting possibilities, however they don’t all pan out the way you’d want them to (or at least the way I wanted them to).

house-of-cards-lineup

As the cast there are all pretty good. Kevin Spacey just kills it as U.S. Congressman Francis “Frank” J. Underwood. Frank’s a thinker, he’s proactive and is always a few steps ahead, and if something isn’t going his way he knows how to flip it and make the situation work for him. In some ways Frank reminds me of Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones in the sense that they are smart, cunning and confident. They know the game when it comes to politics and power, they know how to manipulate and persuade people, they’re stubborn and know no defeat. Rarely are they on the side of failure. So when they do trip up or make a mistake it is worse because they’ve been right for so long. I’ve always liked Spacey as an actor and this show really displays his acting talents in full force as he is charming, aggressive, relatable and just fun to watch. Robin Wright is just as important as Claire Underwood, at first she does come across as Frank’s wife and rock who supports him in all that he does, but as things progress you start to see that she’s a very strong individual who’s just as smart and cunning as her husband. Plus there is moments dedicated to her backstory and seeing how she develops as a person. Wright is an actress I haven’t seen that much of in recent years so it’s nice to see her in such a great role here. Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes is really good, Zoe is a young, gorgeous, intuitive and forward-thinking kind of woman who wants to further her work in journalism and will do so whether the means are morally or ethically correct or not. I love the working relationship that she obtains with Franks and how they help each other but also how the relationship changes when they really start to need things from each other. Mara plays this character pretty well with style, grace and beauty.

11-house-of-cards-ep-5-3.w750.h560.2x HOUSE OF CARDS

Corey Stoll may be the season-stealer as Peter Russo, Russo is a good man with a troubled background, he’s involved with a lot of bad stuff and that in turn leaves him in dangerous situations which he eventually gets out of thanks to Frank. So Peter, through manipulation actually gets his act together and tries to do good, and I’d like to say more but it would be ruining things. Peter’s story arc is one of the best aspects of the season and Stoll is brilliant and I really like what he brought to the role. Michael Kelly as Douglas “Doug” Stamper is great, I’ve seen Kelly in a few TV shows and films here and there, but this is the most substantial role I’ve seen from him and he’s really good as Frank’s Chief of Staff. Kristen Connolly is great as Christina Gallagher and I also liked Sakina Jaffrey as Linda Vasquez. Sandrine Holt as Gillian Cole was quite good too, at first she’s a nice and respectable lady, but then she really grows some balls and goes into some aggressive places. Constance Zimmer is good as Janine Skorsky, at first I found Janine quite mean and frustrating but she eventually cooled down and showed  more resourceful and nicer side later on. Michel Gill does well as President Garrett Walker, even though his character seems a little plain at times, at other points he’s shown to be smart and cunning too. Mahershala Ali is also great as Remy Danton, I like how he and Frank have history and sometimes are opposed but other times need each other for mutual purposes. Ben Daniels as Adam Galloway was good, however I felt like his character could have been delved into a little more or just been taken out altogether. Reg E. Cathey is good as Freddy Hayes, even though he’s only around every so often, I love his interactions with Frank and how relaxed and friendly he is. And finally Rachel Brosnahan as Rachel Posner is good as well and I found her character interesting considering her line of work and how she progresses.

House-Of-Cards

Oh by the way the presentation is great. The show is shot really well, everything looks so clean, the lighting is nice and the cinematography in general looks pretty. The soundtrack is also very good as it is very dramatic, haunting and disturbing, most times it feels unsettling and it works with the action on-screen. Oh and that opening, at first I really didn’t care for it as it came across as a bit plain with the music and just a time-lapse of different locations in DC, but I started to get into it and I will say that both the music and imagery gets more interesting after the sun goes down.

1401x788-Screen-Shot-2015-01-12-at-8.20.34-AM

In conclusion season 1 of House of Cards is pretty damn good. It introduces you to the world of politics and journalism, and how they intertwine. There is tension, drama and chaos, and it is just intriguing to see how these key characters interact and develop. I will say that certain story aspects didn’t pan out the way I would have liked and some of the political jargon lost me, but overall a good start to an interesting show.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen the first 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! 😀

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: