Going in Style Michael Caine/Morgan Freeman vehicle. A funny crime romp, that has the audience rooting for the little guys, the guys that have lost their pensions to evil corps, to the machievellian machinations of the banks. The cast might be older, but they are full of pep and life. No need to harp back to previous bank heists, this is a gentler, funnier, Robin Hood of a movie. Michael Caine doesn’t get to say “You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off”, Morgan Freeman is still his badass but dignified self, playing a grandpa with a heart of gold…and a need for a bit more of the glittery stuff to see his family. This is the other end of the archetypal ‘coming of age movie’ – a celebration of living life until the very end of it. No, it is not important, it doesn’t pretend to be. What this movie is is Fun. A sweet funny, celebration of family, friendship, doing the right thing, even if it isn’t the lawful thing. This is chaotic good in all of it’s glory! (7.5/10)
Umbrella Game (8/10) Time travelling superheroes with flaws. Grabs the audience by the heartstrings and wrenches at the human need for love and family…even if you are superhuman…A binge watch worthy series. I am hoping that covid hasn’t delayed (or worse) the continuation.
Derry Girls (8/10) I love the Derry Girls like I love sunshine and puppies. Making it past the accents took a little work, but once my ear was tuned in, the charm and sunny niceness made it into the perfect way to relax and forget about this covid nightmare reality.
My Name A new Netflix exclusive in the USA, a Korean series, a little Femme Nikita, a little gangster story, a little coming of age. The female victim, who is being forced to pay socially for the sins of her gangster father, avenges his death. High energy, powerfully feminist, the losers win, and the bullies lose..at least most of the time. What happens when a badass bitch decides to own the label bestowed on her and embrace the fact she is not allowed to be ordinary, or live an ordinary life. If Swedish crime noir goes to Korea, this is what it would look like, though not as dour. The Korean film and tv machine cranks out another finely wrought hit, I think. Released today! (too early to tell, but episode 1, is a solid 8)
Alice In Borderland: Parallel Tokyo dark fun. Seems like every TV producer wants to play games! (6/10). The manga is better than the TV show. I recommend English subtitles and Japanese sound, the English dub is dire.
Anyone who has not seen Cowboy Beebop, the OG anime from Japan, with one of the best scores of any anime out there, should try it out. If you don’t think you like ‘cartoons’, this is a good place to start the journey to realizing there are cartoons, and then there is anime. It is up on Netflix now, as if the long running but fabulous vampire story from the Japan, via the UK, with the rock and roll themed names (Crazy Diamond, anyone?), Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Series 4 is out on November the 1st. Beastars is meant for the teen crowd, but unashamedly good fun – think Animal Farm for generation z. One Piece goofy, piratical fun and Attack on Titan – dark study on what makes us human, are also available and both worth watching.
What not to watch. Shameless is tired, and needs retiring, Dave Chapelle is just plain old uncomfortable viewing, and there is not a food based show on right now which isn’t tired, or horrific. Meat Eater glorifies hunting, and the usual round of ‘fry it and see’, or ‘hey this combination sounds gross…and it is’ fails to excite. Dull dull dull. I miss Anthony Bourdain and his cool drinking, eating and travelling adventures.