Category: Netflix

Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

It’s true!  I was cheesed into The Knight Before Christmas!

U.S.—Netflix has taken heavy criticism for committing the sin of cultural appropriation of cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.The accusations of cultural appropriation came as Netflix users noticed an increase in the number of corny, formulaic holiday films on the service. It was obvious, some say, that Netflix had appropriated the idea for the che …

Source: Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

Bodyguard (Netflix 2018)

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Thank you, Netflix for purchasing the rights to show the BBC drama Bodyguard. No this isn’t a remake of the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston hit. Rather, it’s a BBC One production that grabbed the United Kingdom audience and now gets to grab you wherever you are.

It stars the talented Keely Hawes and Richard Madden (who takes a while to understand his accent). Fantastic acting by all the cast, a nailbiting, tense thriller to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

Richard Madden plays the character of David Budd who is assigned as bodyguard to protect the Home Secretary Julia Montague played by Keeley Hawes.  She’s a high and mighty politician while he is a former soldier dealing with residual PTSD but packing a gun. The story revolves around tense political scenes, terrorists around every corner, broken marriages, and love affairs. To top it off, it’s the usual well-done British show with the tense music in the right spots.  Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the plot twists in a surprising direction.

Great British television!  There’s nothing like it, and this is one of the best.  Just read the reviews online, and you’ll see many agree.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix 2018)

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I have been overdue for a good period drama and waiting patiently for the release of this film. In anticipation, I ordered the book but found it to be a compilation of letters and not written like a regular novel so I put it aside.

After seeing the trailer for the movie version, I’m so thankful it’s finally out.  There’s no disappointment whatsoever in this touching story staring Lily James.  As usual, I find her adorable, and her performance goes well in this sometimes heartbreaking story that eventually has a happy ever after.

The story is about Juliet Ashton, an author from London, who receives a letter after the war in 1946 from a peculiar group of people who calls themselves The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.  They are a book club that was formed on the Isle of Guernsey (a British island in the Channel), during the German occupation.  Curious about the group, Juliet travels to the location to meet those who make up the book club. In doing so, she learns of the years of occupation in which they endured and a very sad story about one of their members.

The story jumps back and forth from the present to the war, giving insight as to what actually happened to the characters now speaking to her in 1946.  Juliet wants to write about their experiences, but the club would prefer that she does not because of the pain it represents in their lives.

The others who star in the movie are some of your favorites, such as Tom Courtenay, Katherine Parkinson, and Penelope Wilton who does a wonderful job in her role. Add to the cast is Matthew Goode, and you have a well-rounded, experienced group of seasoned actors.

Though you may find the movie a bit slow in parts, it’s worth the scenes to take the slow walk on the beach or run around the pig pen to get the feel of the location and its people.  If you’re a period drama junkie or enjoy WW2 stories, check it out on Netflix.

SAFE (Canal+ and Netflix 2018)

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How does one feel safe in a neighborhood? Does fencing in the community help keep the boogie-man out or does it actually keep the boogie-man safe within? It’s a question that comes up in this interesting series entitled SAFE, which was done by Netflix and Canal+. It’s a pretty intriguing mystery with a surprising twist at the end. Just don’t Google the answer if a certain character makes it or dies before you finish all eight episodes. You are liable to read the spoiler about the end. Ruined it for me!  Dang-it.

The series is set in England and involves an English doctor with two daughters, one of which goes missing after a wild house party she attends. The daughter of one of the parents in the fenced neighborhood has a wild drinking and drug party while her parents are away. Unfortunately, when the host steps outside for a breath of fresh air, she finds a dead body of one of the male attendees floating in the swimming pool.

The deceased is the boyfriend of Tom Delaney’s elder daughter, who hasn’t come home from the night before. As the police deal with the who-done-it questions about the dead boy, Tom is out searching frantically for his daughter.

His search uncovers all sorts of mysteries surrounding his deceased wife, and everything become very convoluted as the web of neighborhood deceit becomes stickier than ever. There are a few subplots along the way regarding others neighbors, and a huge secret that answers all the questions is glossed over early in the series.

It’s a good mystery.  Worth the watch.

 

New on Netflix – A Favorite

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Netflix has some new movies, one of which is “Midnight in Paris” (2011)  I love it!  I laughed and cried.

For you author folks or time-travel wannabees, this is a great watch.  It’s a five kernel feast, at least for me.  It one best screenplay at the Oscars and Golden Globes, plus other awards. 93% on the Tomato meter.

Read my former review HERE.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Gil: Would you read it?

Ernest Hemingway: Your novel?

Gil: Yeah, it’s about 400 pages long, and I’m just looking for an opinion.

Ernest Hemingway: My opinion is I hate it.

Gil: Well you haven’t even read it yet.

Ernest Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

 

*****

Paul: Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.

*****

Gertrude Stein: The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.

Medici: Masters of Florence

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A new series, acquired by Netflix and popular in Italy, is now streaming – Medici: Masters of Florence.  If you’re a history buff, you might enjoy this new binge-watching opportunity regarding the Medici family who were bankers in the 15th century in the Republic of Florence.  For more historical information, run over to Wikipedia and READ HERE.

The story stars Richard Madden, Stuart Martin, and Dustin Hoffman, among others. It begins with the death of Giovanni, who is the founder of the Medici family empire. His son, Cosimo de’ Medici takes over the family business and learns that his father had been murdered.  The intrigue begins.

Be prepared to flop back and forth between a twenty-year period when Giovanni is alive and teaching his sons, as well as manipulating their lives to do his will. Sometimes it’s difficult to discover if you’re twenty years in the past or twenty years in the future, except for the difference in the hairstyles of the two sons.

Controlling, conniving, and underhandedly through bribery, the elder Giovanni influences the choice of the next pope. Its reward is to be the Vatican’s banker, which leads to prestige and additional wealth. In addition, he arranges a marriage for Cosimo (after sending away the woman he loves), and forbids his son to follow his true interest in life of art and architecture. The family business comes first.

I didn’t exactly find it the best of series for a few reasons:

  1. Miscasting – Dustin Hoffman is a poor choice to play the matriarch of the family – Giovanni. His acting is not up to par, and he just doesn’t fit the historical character’s role.
  2. Sound quality is absolutely terrible. Constantly, I had to crank up the volume to hear what they were saying, which I found annoying.  This is an Italian production acquired exclusively by Netflix (though not by Netflix), so I’m not sure if that is the reason.

What works:

  1. The semi-interesting historical story line.
  2. The ancient city of Florence and its architecture.
  3. The costumes.
  4. History lessons on screen, such as the Black Death pandemic that was estimated to have killed 30-60% of Europe’s population.
  5. The surprising plot twist at the end of Season 1.

Nevertheless, check it out for a new period drama feast but beware it may not be your best meal.

The Crown: everything you need to know about Netflix’s £100 million series about the Queen’s reign

 

“The success of Downton Abbey across the Atlantic proved that American audiences are suckers for a British period drama. Which helps to explain why Netflix, the US video-on-demand service, is staking £100 million on a series about the Queen – from the early years of her reign through to the present day.”

 Looks like a great cast, including one of my favorites – Jeremy Northam.

Source: The Crown: everything you need to know about Netflix’s £100 million series about the Queen’s reign

Awake (2012 TV Series)

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Just finished watching thirteen episodes of Awake on Netflix, which at one time was an NBC television series that came to cancellation after one season.  Nevertheless, it has an intriguing premise that makes your head spin as you try to keep up with the scenes.  You almost need to look at what color rubber band is around your wrist to discover what world you’re in at the moment.  Here is why…

It’s about an LAPD police detective Michael Britten (played by Jason Isaacs), who is in a car accident with his wife and son. The tragedy leaves an aftermath of split realities. When he sleeps, he wakes up in one reality where he lost his wife in the accident and lives with his son who survived (played by Dylan Minnette). Then he retires for the night and wakes up in another reality where he’s lost his son and lives with his wife (played by Laura Allen). In each reality, the ones who survive the accident are faced with grief and loss that they try to overcome through various means.  He knows which reality he’s in when he awakens by the color of the band around his wrist.

Even though Britten is keenly aware of his strange experience when in either reality, he does not share what is happening to either his wife or son.  The only ones who do know are two psychiatrists that he sees in each world.  They attempt to convince him that he is in their reality and that the other is a dream, which they contribute to a coping mechanism because facing the truth is too painful. Britten does not reveal his odd life to anyone at work, but his split worlds help him solve crimes.

It’s a good show that keeps you guessing and in the counseling chair with Britten. You’ll hear plenty of psychological mumbo-jumbo explaining why this is happening to him.  Britten, on the other hand, wants to keep things as they are because he can still have his wife and son in his life. Nevertheless, as the show continues, the terrible truth of why the accident occurred and that a criminal police cover-up is part of the reason, brings havoc. His mind begins to break and reality turns delusional at both ends of the spectrum.  At one point he’s stuck in one and desperate to get back to the other.  He begins to hallucinate seeing odd things like penguins and characters who are not there.

Issac Jacobs does a wonderful job acting this convoluted existence on screen, and it is a shame he didn’t receive any recognition.  The writers, knowing that the show is to be cancelled, brings the audience a totally mind-blowing ending that will have you scratching your head.  As Britten’s psyche breaks further, you can only conclude that he’s conjured up a third reality to make sense of the past two versions filled with undeniable heartache and betrayal.  It’s the reality he wants above all else, and probably that of the audience too.

It’s a good show, worth a Netflix binge.

Netflix’s big exclusivity deal for Disney’s latest movies starts in September | The Verge

Get your supply of popcorn ready, Netflix just landed a big deal with Disney. Now we can watch Disney movies this September!  Sweet deal.

Source: Netflix’s big exclusivity deal for Disney’s latest movies starts in September | The Verge

NETFLIX Streaming: 100 Period Dramas • Willow and Thatch

Attention Period Drama Junkies:

List of 100 Period Dramas on NETFLIX. Streaming historical period & costume dramas, best movies & television mini-series to watch now. 2016 Period Films.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NETFLIX Streaming: 100 Period Dramas • Willow and Thatch

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