Category: Reviews

Netflix: Everything leaving in May – Business Insider


“The Animatrix,” “Blade Runner,” and “Clerks” are all being removed in the coming weeks.

Source: Netflix: Everything leaving in May – Business Insider

How long can Netflix stay king of content?

Source: How long can Netflix stay king of content?

In the past two years, a whole host of companies have ramped up their streaming video options, from Amazon Prime (AMZN) to YouTube Red (GOOGL) to HBO Now (TWX) to new apps from cable networks. But Netflix (NFLX) is still the undisputed heavyweight king of original content.

The Queen (Movie 2006)

Queen4 Kernels

Included with my STARZ subscription is the movie The Queen, starring Helen Mirren in her Oscar-winning performance as Elizabeth II. I had not seen the movie at the theater.

It would help if I got in the habit of reading a synopsis before watching a movie. To my detriment, I just clicked and streamed not realizing the movie focused on the death of Princess Diana. Reliving that episode in history only turned me into a blubbering fool at eleven o’clock at night. Needless to say, it resurrected the images and sadness over the terrible accident that took her life far too soon.  Be forewarned, you will see again actual news footage that could cause tears.

As far as the remainder of the movie, it attempts to showcase the reaction of the Royal Family regarding her death and that in particular of Queen Elizabeth. When watching re-enactments of private affairs behind closed doors that historically occurred, it’s hard to know what to believe. Were their reactions portrayed truthfully because of a tidbit of gossip garnered from former staff or was it pure conjecture? I haven’t looked into that matter to determine if any of it rang true.

Nevertheless, history will probably all agree that the silence from the Royal Family during this period did nothing to endear the monarchy with the general public. The stiff upper lip mentality and adherence to private grief, only made Elizabeth appear cold and uncaring. As far as Prince Philippe, I would like to think that the man privately is far better in character than the terrible portrayal of coldness given to him in the movie. Thankfully, the movie did one thing right. The boys who played the young princes were never shown by their face or had speaking parts in the movie — a respectful decision.

I suppose that one must understand that at this point in the Queen’s life, she is only reacting to how she was raised. However, the people cannot relate to her cloistered as a figurehead behind closed doors, which is why everyone loved Diana so much. She was indeed the people’s princess, and the outpouring of grief from the nation and world was deserved. Unfortunately, Elizabeth did not realize, at least in the movie, how beloved her former daughter-in-law had been. She, on the other hand, has become hated, which is something that she has never experienced in her life or realized for that matter.

Helen Mirren’s performance won her an Oscar in 2007, beating out such greats as Cruz, Streep, Dench, and Winslet. As Elizabeth, she fit the role well. I have read that the queen did give Helen a nod of approval for her performance. Michael Sheen portrayed Tony Blair, who I thought did an excellent job. The movie also holds interest for a peek behind closed doors at the lives in the palace and the stunning scenery at Balmoral Castle. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind being cloistered away from the world there either.

Now twenty years later, it is fair to say that the monarchy has gained a resurgence of popularity in the eyes of the people. Elizabeth, now about to become ninety and the longest reigning monarch, has changed over the years. She is now more of a people’s queen and touchable. Of course, Diana’s two boys, are admired throughout the world. Diana certainly continues to live through her sons, having taught them values to be respected. It is good to know that even after her death, Diana was instrumental in changing the monarchy.

Watch on Amazon

Outlander Season 201, Ep. 202 (Not in Scotland Anymore)

Titanic Blood And Steel 2012I burned my popcorn in the microwave last night. Well, not literally. Only to say that I’m not scattering popcorn kernels after last night’s episode. I’m going to keep my kernels private, which is more than I can say for the body parts Starz loves to flaunt.

Last night’s episode started off graphically with hot lovemaking between Claire and Jamie. With the young Scot dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s no wonder the lad is having nightmares. Well, you will be privy to that horror as the face of Claire morphs into the face of Jack Randall underneath Jamie, moaning with pleasure. Jamie loses it, grabs a knife, and repeatedly stabs Jack in the chest until he’s killed the bastard. At first, you fear he’s done in Claire during a moment of madness, but Jamie jolts awake dripping in sweat. This is your gory welcome to Episode 202 – you will be drenched in blood.

The things I avoided in the last half of season one, are apparently going to be shoved in my face by Starz regardless of my distaste. I would really like to get through this series, but if my complaining gets on the nerves of the die-hard fans, I am surely going to be hanged, disemboweled, and quartered.

After the shocking start of the episode, we get to the crux of the matter – they are not in Scotland anymore. I will give Starz credit for one thing – they have done a fantastic job with costumes and scenery. They have spared no expense to give its fans a time-travel trip into 18th century Paris. Jamie and Claire are living the life of luxury, wearing beautiful clothes, and making acquaintances so they can get an inroad into the royal court.

However, along with the greatness above, comes the vulgarity (love that word) of the French in the eyes of its visitors. As one scene unfolds in a brothel, while Jamie meets the Prince, you will be entertained by a few shocking scenes of prostitutes with decorative imitation penises and flashy nipples that give Jamie and Murtagh a shock.

I suppose you could call the lighthearted scenes of Claire’s new upper-class friend getting her legs and honey pot waxed slightly entertaining. You’ll later find out that Claire has tried the hairless trend herself and crawled into bed with Jamie. Poor Jamie, however, still sees the face of his enemy underneath and cannot perform.

The remainder of the show deals with Claire and Jamie attempting to infiltrate the court and rub shoulders with the individuals who can help their cause. Episode 202, not as moving as 201 with Claire’s return, pushes the story along. It jumps from nightmarish scenes, lighthearted bantering and hair removal, to dull, watching the king attempting to have a bowel movement, and an unexpected revelation at the end.  Jamie suggests eating porridge in the morning to the king as a means of fiber, since Scots don’t have that problem.  If anything, I can attest that one bowl of oatmeal does the job for me.

As I’ve stated before, no, I haven’t read the entire series in book form. I’m a virgin to the story, so I see this series televised from a different viewpoint. Unfortunately, Starz is apparently going to push those scenes I’ve attempted to avoid into my face nevertheless. Hence, my popcorn burned last night, and I’m keeping the few kernels that escaped to myself.

Oh, and once again, by 11 o’clock Friday night, the episode was posted for watching. At least I’m getting the value of my $8.99 a month Starz subscription. Thanks Amazon.  Here’s hoping Starz stops the flashbacks of terror and moves on with the show.

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